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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 11, 2012
Altenburg Hardwood Lumber Company is among Best in Workplace Safety
Department of Labor Bestows Company with Prestigious SHARP Award
Altenburg, MO– The Labor Department’s On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is pleased to announce that Altenburg Hardwood Lumber Company has earned the distinction of being named the newest member of the Missouri’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for its excellent workplace safety record.
“We welcome Altenburg Hardwood Lumber Company to Missouri’s elite workplace safety program,” said Larry Rebman, Director of the Labor Department. “The businesses that earn the SHARP award have worked hard to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace for their employees.”
Altenburg Hardwood employs 54 people in the small community of Altenburg, in the eastern part of Perry County, Missouri. They are a modern-day sawmill, processing logs into rough cut lumber.
A large portion of their product is kiln dried and shipped throughout the United States and exported to Belgium and Spain where it is used to manufacture furniture, cabinets, doors and molding. The green lumber sold is used for trailer flooring, switch ties, board roads, and a multitude of other uses.
Altenburg Hardwood has had an internal safety and health management program in anticipation of working with the Department’s Division of Labor Standards to pursue SHARP certification.
The on-site consultations are discretionary and are initiated by employers who want to provide a safe work environment for their workers. Businesses that achieve an excellent workplace safety record and eliminate the occurrences of injuries on the job can qualify for this exclusive safety and health incentive and recognition program. SHARP members also have lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums and are exempt from OSHA inspections for a period of time.
“As a company, we’ve invested a great deal in machinery, process, and training to protect our employees on the job. Our safety committee has implemented a Safety Incentive Program which we feel has played a huge role in achieving this award,” Said Kevin Engert, Production Manager. “Being awarded the SHARP status is a major accomplishment, considering our line of business.
Our employees work around sharp objects, moving parts, and other hazards on a daily basis and continue to keep injuries to a bare minimum. We are very proud and honored to be accepted into this elite group.”
Altenburg Hardwood was honored for its achievement during a ceremony May 11, 2012, at its mill, located at 10220 Main Street, in Altenburg, Mo. Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Missouri Department of Labor attended the event to present the business a Certificate of Recognition, a SHARP flag, and a proclamation issued by Governor Jay Nixon, which will further signify Altenburg Hardwood’s achievement. A video of the event can be viewed on Monday, May 14, 2012 at www.labor.mo.gov/SAFE.
SHARP was implemented in Missouri in 1991 and has since offered the highest level consultative services to businesses with 250 or fewer employees. The Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program is the prerequisite for those who wish to be a part of SHARP. It is designed to promote effective workplace safety and health program management by helping the employer locate and remove existing hazards in the facility, thereby reducing injuries and illnesses. SHARP is a reward program designed to provide incentives and support to smaller, high-hazard employers to work with their employees to develop, implement, and continuously improve the effectiveness of their workplace safety and health programs. To date, there are 37 businesses in Missouri which have earned the SHARP recognition.
To be eligible for SHARP, a company may employ no more than 500 total employees at all nationwide worksites. In addition, the worksite’s lost workday injury and illness rate must be below the national average for its industry.
In fiscal year 2011, the safety program corrected conditions in participating businesses that could have resulted in more than $4.6 million in OSHA fines. In addition 5,711 workplace serious hazards were remedied. 2,515 of the serious hazards were corrected while the consultant was on site. For more information about the SHARP or to request a free safety and health consultation, please visit www.labor.mo.gov/SAFE or call the Division of Labor Standards at (573) 522-SAFE.
421 East Dunklin Street, P.O. Box 504, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0504
Phone: 573-751-7500 Fax: 573-751-6552