Health and Safety Resource

December 2017

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Oregon OSHA inks alliance with foundation drilling group

Oregon OSHA and the West Coast Chapter of the International Association of Foundation Drilling (WCC-ADSC) have signed an alliance that aims to raise awareness of workplace safety and health, and to reduce illness and injury rates in the construction and demolition industries.

The alliance will work to raise awareness about drilled shaft and foundation drilling operations, and the installation of micropiles and earth retention systems. The alliance’s outreach and communication goals include:

  • Providing expertise in developing information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards
  • Speaking, exhibiting, or appearing at Oregon OSHA’s or WCC-ADSC’s events
  • Sharing information among Oregon OSHA personnel, and industry safety and health professionals about WCC-ADSC best practices
  • Encouraging WCC-ADSC members to participate in Oregon OSHA’s consultation services program, the Safety and Health Achievement Program (SHARP), and the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

The alliance also will participate in forums and stakeholder discussions about safe practices involving foundation drilling activities, earth retention systems, and other related equipment and machinery commonly found in this specific construction sector.

Visit Oregon OSHA’s “Working with you” page online for more information about the agency’s collaborations.​

Michael Wood, Becky Patterson, and John Bickford
(Left to right) Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA, Becky Patterson, chapter administrator of WCC-ADSC, and John Bickford, vice president of WCC-ADSC gathered recently to sign an alliance that focuses on safety and health in foundation drilling operations.

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Award recognizes Oregon’s return-to-work programs

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) has received an award from a worldwide organization for the division’s ongoing efforts and track record of success in helping injured Oregon workers return to work.

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions – the largest trade association of workers’ compensation agencies in North America – honored WCD with a 2017 President’s Award. Such awards recognize the contributions of regulators and industry professionals in improving workplace health and safety, including helping workers recover from on-the-job injury and illness.

WCD’s award, recently announced by the association during its 103rd annual convention held in Portland, recognizes two Oregon programs: the Employer-at-Injury Program and the Preferred Worker Program.

The Employer-at-Injury Program encourages the early return to work of injured workers by helping lower an employer’s early return-to-work costs and claim costs. Since 1995, it has helped more than 160,000 injured Oregon workers achieve both long-term employment and wages that are higher than those who did not use the program.

The Preferred Worker Program encourages re-employment of qualified Oregon workers who have permanent disabilities from on-the-job injuries. The program, which focuses on small- to medium-sized businesses, offers Oregon employers a chance to save money by hiring preferred workers. Since 2012, the program has served an average 1,029 newly eligible workers per year.

“This award reflects the energy, hard work, and professionalism of all of our staff,” said Lou Savage, administrator for WCD. “And we remain committed to what matters most: helping improve the lives of injured workers – and their families – in Oregon.”

Learn more about WCD’s return-to-work programs online or by calling 800-452-0288 (toll free), or by sending an email to the Employer-at-Injury Program – Eaip.oregon@oregon.gov – or the Preferred Worker Program – Pwp.oregon@oregon.gov​.

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Bend business earns safety, health recognition

Oregon OSHA has announced that Suterra LLC in Bend has graduated from 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 encourages employers to become self-sufficient in managing workplace safety and health issues. Currently, about 23 employer locations in Oregon participate in SHARP. That's in addition to about 157 employers that have graduated from the program. An employer becomes a graduate when it completes five years of SHARP.

With 70 employees at the Bend facility, Suterra LLC is a leading provider of bio-rational products for crop protection and commercial pest control. Through international product sales, the company works to help growers reduce their use of traditional insecticides.

The SHARP program helped the company take a fresh look at its policies and processes, and reinforced the company’s ongoing efforts to improve safety, according to Aman Khapoya, vice president of global operations for Suterra.

The recognition that comes with being a SHARP company also serves as a valuable tool to recruit new employees, Khapoya said.

“As our business grows and we compete for new talent, we hope candidates see our achievements under the SHARP program and realize that we are truly committed to the health and safety of our team,” he said. “The candidates for whom that safety commitment is important are precisely the ones we want – and the ones we will need to make Suterra even better.”

Cory Stengel, Amber Hofer, Randy Nice, Aman Khapoya, and Kevin Kilroy
(Left to right) Cory Stengel (Oregon OSHA health consultant); Amber Hofer (Suterra plant safety manager); Randy Nice (Oregon OSHA safety consultant); Aman Khapoya (Suterra vice president of global operations); Kevin Kilroy (Oregon OSHA field consultation manager)

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