— Portland General Electric Co.’s Biglow Canyon wind farm has graduated from Oregon OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), a significant milestone in growth and commitment to worker safety.
SHARP coaches companies on how to effectively manage workplace safety and health. It empowers employers to continuously improve. In turn, companies are recognized for their success in reaching specific benchmarks. An employer becomes a graduate when it completes five years of SHARP.
During its SHARP journey, Biglow Canyon – which encompasses 217 wind turbines covering 25,000 acres outside of Wasco – tackled a variety of safety improvements. Those included installing deflector plates to protect workers from permanent obstructions or clearance issues as they move up and down ladders inside wind towers; standardizing safety and health procedures across facilities; and setting up TV monitors to display safety trending reports.
In assessing Biglow Canyon’s safety culture, Oregon OSHA consultants noted that personnel at the site do not hesitate “to ensure the task at hand is being performed in the safest manner possible.”
“Biglow’s graduation from SHARP is a great example of what an employee-driven safety culture can achieve,” said Elizabeth Kokos, PGE senior wind technician. “Employees are more willing to be active contributors in a company’s safety programs when they own them. Biglow’s ability to attain SHARP graduate status is a prime example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together for safety.”
SHARP encourages Oregon employers to work with their employees to identify and correct hazards, and develop and implement effective safety and health programs. The benefits of the program, which is part of Oregon OSHA’s consultation services, include lower injury and illness rates, decreased workers’ compensation costs, increased employee morale, and lower product losses.
Oregon employers that have been in business for more than one year are eligible to apply for SHARP. For more information about the program, visit the SHARP program page