Biglow Canyon facility earns SHARP award
Salem - Oregon OSHA has announced that Portland General Electric Co.'s Biglow Canyon wind farm has received an award for completing its first year of involvement in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
SHARP provides an incentive for Oregon employers to work with their employees to find and correct hazards, develop and implement effective safety and health programs, and continuously improve. The program aims to encourage employers to become self-sufficient in managing workplace safety and health issues. Currently, about 32 employer locations in Oregon participate in SHARP. That's in addition to about 142 employers that have graduated from the program. An employer becomes a graduate when it completes five years of SHARP.
PGE employs nine people at the wind farm near Wasco in Sherman County. Encompassing 217 turbines spread across 25,000 acres of wheat fields, the wind farm produces an average of 150 megawatts ? enough to power an estimated 125,000 homes. The wind farm's peak generating capacity is 450 megawatts.
"The SHARP program is important to us because it is driven and owned by the employees," said Ken Brock, safety coordinator for PGE's generating plants in eastern Oregon and Washington. "It continues to push people to look for something better or think outside the box instead of settling for the 'we are good enough' mindset. You look around in different industries and see so many top-down driven programs, but they just aren't as effective. When a program is owned by the employees it changes the culture, and that's what drives us to a safe and healthy workplace."
Oregon employers that have been in business for more than one year are eligible to apply for SHARP regardless of size or type of business, although the program is primarily designed to help small and mid-size businesses.