Blackwell business gets top honor from OSHA

by Charles Gerian

A longtime Blackwell business has earned its ninth certification celebrating the company’s safe operations.

PT Oklahoma Investment Casting Company was recently recognized as a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program-certified business by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the company said in a news release. OICC has been in Blackwell for almost 30 years.

The company has been recognized as a SHARP-certified business nine times since 1997.

The company first applied for an on-site safety consultation program from OSHA in 1995. Small and medium-sized businesses are eligible to participate in the program. The company then began working with the Oklahoma Department of Labor to make the company’s operations safer, Human Resources and Safety Manager Karen Lambert said.

“With the encouragement of consultants, PT-OICC decided to take our safety and health program to the next level required to participate in SHARP, which recognizes small business employers who have used the OSHA on-site consultation program services and operate an exemplary safety and health program,” Lambert said.

As part of the requirements to become SHARP-certified, all new PT-OICC employees take safety orientation training. Employees also participate in monthly safety training sessions conducted by a third-party provider. The company hosts an active safety committee that meets monthly to inspect the facility and its equipment. The company also conducts the Opportunity for Improvement program, which rewards employees for providing feedback about the company, officials said.

Lambert and OICC General Manager Cary Meister said OICC has worked 73,971 hours without a recordable injury. The company has maintained a low worker's compensation experience modifier rate, resulting in lower insurance premiums.

“We've also endeavored to keep our injury rates below that of other establishments in the industry sector,” Meister said. “From 2017-2019, our DART [days away, restricted, and/or transferred] rate averaged 0.93, and our TRC [total recordable case] rate averaged 2.10. … Your average establishments like ours have a DART rate of 3.36 and a TRC rate of 4.60.”

In 2019, the company’s TRC and DART rates dropped to zero. In February 2020, the company received its most recent SHARP renewal.

“Both team members and management are proud of our designation as a SHARP-certified facility,” Environmental Health and Safety Manager Deb Hankins said. “We’re all motivated to maintain this prestigious designation.”