Wise Plastics Now Has TWO Reasons to Celebrate: St. Charles and West Chicago, Illinois Facilities Designated as SHARP Sites

Company: Wise Plastics Technologies, Inc.

Location: Saint Charles, Illinois

Location: West Chicago, Illinois

NAICS Code: 326199-All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing

Number of employees: St. Charles- 158 West Chicago- 188

Employees standing with their SHARP flag.
Employees standing with their SHARP flag.

Wise Plastics Technologies is a full-service plastic parts manufacturer that uses injection molding processes at facilities in St. Charles and West Chicago, Illinois. Products produced range from medical devices to automotive parts, as well as many other products for many industries. The company was looking to improve the management of its safety program. Through various environmental health and safety magazines, the company learned about the Illinois On-site Consultation Program. The St. Charles location received its initial consultation visit in April of 2021 and West Chicago received its initial visit in June of 2022. During these visits, consultants identified electrical hazards, unlabeled secondary containers, unguarded saw blades, and exit route issues. All hazards were corrected and, as a result of the findings, the company provided more comprehensive training on hazard communication and labeling. Electrical safety was highlighted during the training to increase attention on potential hazards during safety audits.

The company’s Total Recordable Case (TRC) and Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rates decreased in the first year after the consultation visits and the rates have stayed down since being awarded designation as a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) site in June of 2021 at their St. Charles, IL location and June of 2022 at the West Chicago, IL location. Workers’ compensation costs have also decreased significantly. The SHARP program acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Program services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs. Small businesses that achieve SHARP status receive a deferral from OSHA or the State Plan programmed inspections for the period that the SHARP designation is valid. Acceptance of a worksite into SHARP is an achievement that identifies the employer as a model for occupational safety and health among its business peers.

“In the time we have been working with the Illinois On-site Consultation Program, we have seen our safety culture increase exponentially. Our employees feel empowered to act after we invited the consultants into our facility and agreed to let them talk directly to consultation staff without management in the room,” said Andy Purvin, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator. Employees knew management was committed to worker safety and health when the company posted the consultants’ report of findings, and corrected the hazards. This showed that management was willing to fix problems identified during the consultation visits.

Wise Plastics Technologies’ SHARP celebration was a huge hit with management and employees. Working with Illinois Consultation reinforced that safety is the most important value in the company.

Companies interested in SHARP can contact their local OSHA On-Site Consultation program to discuss details and schedule an on-site safety and health evaluation. To locate the On-Site Consultation program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.