The Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Administration Consultation (OSHCON) program, administered by Boise State, was featured in a “Small Business Success Story” on the Department of Labor’s website. The story examined how OSHCON assisted R.C. Bigelow Tea in decreasing their injury rates at their Boise facility.
R.C. Bigelow has been working with OSHCON since 2002. The company was accepted into Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (OSHA’s SHARP) in 2005 and has maintained the status ever since.
OSHCON offers free and confidential safety and health advice to small and medium sized business in Idaho. The program is funded by a Department of Labor grant and some state matching funds. It is part of a national program.
OSHCON consultants work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.
Since working with OSHCON, R.C. Bigelow has been able to reduce their Total Recordable Case rate (TRC) from 2.20 in 2002 to 1.25 by 2005, when they were accepted into OSHA’s SHARP. Their Days Away, Restricted and Transfer Rate (DART) dropped from 2.20 in 2002 to zero. By comparison, the industry average TRC rate was 5.3 and the average DART was 3.2. Since achieving SHARP status, R.C. Bigelow has kept their rates below the national average. Additionally, in 2006 and 2008, the tea company has no recordable injuries.
This past summer, on July 27, 2013, R.C. Bigelow’s SHARP status was renewed. Mark Bolander, human resources and safety manager for R.C. Bigelow, credits OSHCON for giving the company a second set of eyes to gain a new perspective on safety leading to the company’s SHARP status.