Carson City Nature’s Bakery facility honored with safety award
CARSON CITY — A baking facility here received prestigious recognition Feb. 6 for excellence in workplace health and safety, from the Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) program.
With 160 employees, Nature’s Bakery manufacturing plant on Convair Drive accomplished the state’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award at elite ranking.
The bakery is headquartered in Reno and produces Kosher, non-GMO and vegan certified energy bars.
“There are larger companies in this region that aren’t in the same category,” said Carson City Plant Manager Eric Reid. “It was a true team effort and involvement to embrace this program.”
As a part of the state’s Division of Industrial Relations, the program is designed to advance employers with implements, and enhance safety cultures and healthy environments. With this program, a business can reduce accident costs and ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
“The less injuries and compensation costs there are, the more profitable the workplace will be,” said Todd Schultz, chief administrative officer of SCATS. “The main goal is to protect employees.”
Thanks to the program, the plant’s employee incident rate reduced to one-third of the average rate within the industry.
The plant is one out of the two food facilities in the region to receive SHARP certification; the Starbucks Roasting Plant in Minden also went through the procedure.
The benefit of SHARP offers employers safety and health on-site consultation for 18 months at no cost. Consultants of the program further educate employers with confidential hazard identification, program development, program implementation assistance and training.
Gary Daniels, environmental health and safety manager for Nature’s Bakery, said he noticed the workforce developed a balanced safety culture during the period of the program.
As a result, Daniels said he plans to expand some training techniques to company-wide plants, as a program such as SHARP is not available in all states.
“The behavioral part among employees was the biggest change I’ve seen,” he said. “There’s more planning ahead and thinking outside of the box. Challenges are not easily solved.”
Once employers successfully implement the essentials of the program, and have a number of days with a restricted transfer rate below the national average for their group, they earn recognition by SCATS and OSHA inspections will be exempted for two years.
There are 42 employers with SHARP certifications in the state overall.
“There’s a small slice in Nevada with this certification,” said Schultz. “There are about 81,000 employers in the state.”
The SHARP program isn’t only limited to food industries; it serves all kinds of employers looking for consultation. Offices are located in Elko, Reno and Henderson.
Businesses interested in the program can contact SCATS at (775) 688-3730. For more information on SCATS, or for a schedule of training courses offered at no charge by SCATS, call toll free 1-877-4SAFENV, or visit http://www.4safenv.state.nv.us.
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