Western Metals Recycling LLC Is Proud of Its SHARP Accomplishment

Company: Western Metals Recycling, LLC

Location: Sandy, Utah

Employees: 63

NAICS Code: 423930, Recyclable Material Merchant Wholesalers

Western Metals Recycling LLC (WMR) is a metals recycler headquartered in Salt Lake City. The facility processes metal scarps for household and commercial accounts. This company operates eight processing plants throughout the USA in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. There are three sites located in Utah in the cities of Salt Lake City, Provo, and Plymouth. All of the Utah sites participate in the OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP recognizes small business employers who have used the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), On-site Consultation Program, services and operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement of status that distinguishes a company amongst its business peers as a model for workplace safety and health.

The Situation

OSHA’s, On-site Consultation Program, offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country and in several territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.

During WMR’s initial walk through, Utah Occupational Safety and Health (UOSH) consultants identified electrical, housekeeping, and guarding hazards. Weight limitations were not posted on all mezzanines. WMR took care of those hazards that could be corrected immediately at the time of discovery. The remaining hazards were corrected by the mutually agreed upon dates established by the UOSH consultants and WMR. Changing established practices proved to be the greatest challenge during the implementation and improvement of the company’s safety and health management system.

The Solution

WMR implemented the “Eye-On-Safety” program as a way to quickly change and maintain a new culture that would put workplace safety and health first. Other programs that were implemented included the Traffic Control Plan, Employee 4-Hour Safety School for all employees, and New Employee Safety Mentor Program.

In addition to the safety programs, WMR implemented many initiatives to improve their safety system. They created comprehensive written safety policies that are uniform across all sites; completed internal annual reviews and updates consistently; and conducted functional team walkthroughs, frequent inspections by supervisors and safety managers, and annual quantitative site inspections. These unannounced inspections included a complete review of administrative, physical, and other elements of the safety and health process. Facilities that did well on the company’s safety scorecard were recognized for their excellence. This approach generated a great deal of excitement and healthy competition between the plants to perform well on all facets of its safety and health processes.

One facility that has continuously performed well is the Plymouth site. The site earned the President’s Safety Award for 9 of the last 10 years. The Plymouth facility is divided into two sections. The main Plymouth facility consists of the shredder, steel yard, and maintenance. The Metals Recovery Facility (MRF) section consists of the metal recovery, sorting, and wire chopping. The Plymouth site consistently continues to meet all eligibility requirements for participation in SHARP. In the last year, the Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away, Restricted, Transferred (DART) rates have noticeably decreased for this site.

Furthermore, the company established a safety committee composed of management and production employees in different areas to assist with maintaining the support pillar of safety and health in their structural system. WMR’s corporate team along with top management of the Plymouth site, to include Safety Manager Rick Coon, MRF Plant Manager Kevin Christensen, and Ferrous Plant Manager Jardee Steed, have been active participants in UOSH’s SHARP application process as well as supported the many aspects of safety and health programs at all sites. All levels of WMR’s organization have become vital participants in the company’s safety and health program.

WMR Safety Manager Rick Coon stated that company’s participation in the On-site Consultation Program is a great avenue for continual growth and learning, and it provides employees and customers with a safer and healthier work culture and environment. WMR will continue improving its safety controls – with the ultimate goal of zero accidents.

The Impact

WMR considers the On-site Consultation Program a success at all its locations. In 2014, WMR’s TRC of 3.7 and DART rate of 1.9 were well below the Bureau of Labor Statistics rate for this industry (TRC 4.7 and DART 2.9). In the following year, WMR dropped its DART rate to zero and TRC to 1.4 – a huge decrease from the previous year. The number of hazards continues to decline from year to year at all facilities. Other impacts of working with On-site Consultation Program for WMR includes better employee retention, reduction of identified hazards, implementation of new programs and plans, cost savings, and pride to be a SHARP company.

The Utah Safety Council has recognized WMR with the Award of Merit for its achievement in workplace safety performance in 6 of the last 7 years. WMR is proud of its safety and health accomplishments to date, and the company continues to refine its processes to better keep their employees safe and healthy.

Additional information about OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program and other small business resources is available at www.osha.gov or 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Source: Rick Coon, Safety Manager, Western Metals Recycling.