Shade Equipment Celebrates State Safety and Health Award

IT wasn't easy. But then again, nothing worthwhile is.

After 28 months of work, Shade Equipment Co Inc of Winchester, Virginia, received a certificate honoring it as a Virginia Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) work site.

The company was one of just two recipients in northern Virginia and one of 31 in the state for the 2000-2001 year.

The process started in November 1998 with the initial exchanges of information. Officials from the Virginia Office of Safety and Health (VOSH) made their first tour of the facility in August 1999. The fourth and final walk-through came in September 2000.

Donna Boyce Forrester, director of human resources/public relations for Shade Equipment Co Inc, credited the employees and the “tough leadership” of James Baker, safety consultant for VOSH.

In order to be eligible for SHARP recognition, a company must not have more than 250 employees at the site and not more than 500 nationwide. The company must not have a lost-workday injury rate above average for its industry or be in an industry that is on OSHA's high-hazard list, supplemental high-hazard list, or be on any national or approved state or local special-program list.

The company then must have a full service consultation survey of all conditions and operations, and employees must be involved directly in the development, operation, and improvement of all elements of the workplace safety and health program, and in the decisions that affect their safety.

In the span of one year, all safety and health hazards are identified and corrected, and the lost-workday injury rate and injury accident rate must be at or below the national average for the industry.

Shade Equipment Co Inc was founded in 1947 as an agricultural dealership by the late E Earl Shade, moved into large industrial equipment in the 1960s and then into truck body and truck equipment installation. Shade now represents more than 50 manufacturers of truck bodies and truck equipment — including Meyer Products Inc, which celebrated its 75th anniversary at the SHARP certificate presentation. In April 1999, Shade was named the Washington Zone Truck Pool Distributor by DaimlerChrysler, enabling it to obtain Dodge truck chassis to be upfitted for 150 Dodge dealerships within the zone.

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