December Safety Tip - What is SHARP and Why Do I Care?

Submitted by Stephen Rodgers

The government does love acronyms. SHARP stands for Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. It’s a great program that rewards you for doing the right thing.

Now some suspicious people will ask "What IS the right thing?” In this case it comes down to two things. Protecting the hard working men and women that work for you from harm and protecting the money that you ALL work hard to make. Once you understand that the two are inseparable it becomes clearer as to what to do.

Next question: “Am I eligible for the SHARP program?” SHARP offers Qualified Nevada employers expanded safety and health consultation services, program management assessment and evaluation, and training services. At a minimum you must have been in operation for at least one year and working to get your Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) and Total Recordable Cases (TRC) to less than the national industry average for your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.

“Why do I want to do that?” One of the obvious reasons is for a two year deferral from programed OSHA inspections. Another is a reduction in workplace injuries and illnesses, a happy and healthy workforce is a productive workforce. But one of the most popular reasons is to save money. There are Nevada employers that have saved MILLONS in workers compensation cost because of the reductions in injury and illness rates, as a result of improved health and safety programs.

The SHARP program is an opportunity for a business to work closely with SCATS consultants and trainers to develop and/or refine their programs and processes. The great part is that these services have NO ADDITIONAL COST to you as an employer.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” So true. What this will cost you is a commitment from management to fix what’s broken and make better what is already working. The active involvement and commitment of management is a must. However management can’t do it alone. The line workers and supervisors are key to the implementation of any program improvements. By developing a safety culture you will encourage employee involvement in the structure and operation of the safety program.

For answers to questions about SHARP, to talk to one of our consultants, or for a schedule of training courses offered at no charge by SCATS, call toll free 1.877.4SAFENV [1-(877)-472-3368], or visit, www.4safenv.state.nv.us.