Roanoke Cement Co.’s Richmond site reached a safety milestone with admission into the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). SHARP recognizes small business employers who have succeeded with operating exemplary injury and illness prevention through OSHA’s “On-site Consultation Program.” The On-site Consultation Program helps employers highlight potential hazards at their workplace, improve safety programs that are already in place, and offers the opportunity of a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
Acceptance into SHARP is an achievement of status that singles out individual sites as a model for worksite safety and health. SHARP achievement is especially important in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as workplace-related deaths this year have already surpassed the number of fatalities recorded in both 2014 and 2015. Last month, Governor Terry McAuliffe emphasized the importance of workplace safety by attending and speaking at the 21st annual Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Conference – the first sitting governor to do so.
Last year, Governor McAuliffe signed the Virginia Voluntary Protection Programs Act to encourage companies, like Roanoke Cement, to take safety above and beyond OSHA’s requirements. The commonwealth now has 19 work sites that have been accepted into SHARP, which is administered through the Virginia Department of Labor.
“We are proud that of the 19 work sites, three are Roanoke Cement terminals including Front Royal, Norfolk and Richmond,” says David Brinkley, director of distribution for Roanoke Cement. The SHARP journey has taken several years – working with consultants and the Department of Labor – to create this level of safety at our sites. It is truly a cooperative relationship, as envisioned by the governor, and one that we appreciate.”