Oregon OSHA will welcome West Coast Shoe Company (Wesco) this month as the newest employer 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 ultimate goal of SHARP is to encourage employers to become self-sufficient in managing workplace safety and health issues. Currently, 71 employer locations in Oregon participate in SHARP, in addition to 84 facilities that have graduated from the program.
Employing 32 workers, Wesco is a 91-year-old family-owned and operated boot maker. The company manufactures a full line of boots from its factory in Scappoose. Wesco boots are handcrafted from American-made materials and are created for everyday wear and a wide variety of occupational uses.
“Wesco has had a safety committee since the ‘60s but going through the rigors of the SHARP program allowed us to fine-tune our safety procedures,” said Roberta Shoemaker, president and CEO of Wesco. “We view SHARP as a high-level measuring stick to use as a means of elevating our safety commitment.”
Participation in SHARP doesn’t eliminate regulatory enforcement, although SHARP participants do receive a limited exemption from programmed inspections. Employees retain all workplace safety and health rights contained in the Oregon Safe Employment Act. 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.