Paula O. White, director, directorate of cooperative and state programs for the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), on May 3 presented Anthony Forest Products' Washington, Ga., laminating plant with OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award. SHARP recognizes small business employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system.

With this award, Anthony Forest Products, headquartered in El Dorado, Ark., has obtained SHARP status at all six of its facilities, including sawmills in Atlanta, Texas, and Urbana, Ark..; chip mills in Plain Dealing, La., and Troup, Texas; and another laminating plant in El Dorado.

"Anthony Forest Products is clearly committed to protecting the safety and health of its employees and, with today's award, the company has set an extraordinary example for other U.S. manufacturers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. "Anthony Forest Products' investment in employee safety and health was the right thing to do, and I am certain it will provide great benefits in morale, productivity, and competitiveness."

Anthony Forest Products saved more than $1 million from 2001 to 2006 by working with OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program. The program is a free consultation service largely funded by OSHA where employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.

"OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program was very helpful to us with employee monitoring throughout the plant," said Kim Winfrey, employee health and safety coordinator at Anthony Forest Products. "Engineered improvements were made in each department as a result of the analyzed data. All of the On-Site Consultation representatives were very thorough, helpful and knowledgeable of all the issues during the process."

Anthony Forest Products, a family-owned business founded in 1916, has approximately 450 employees. Anthony's Georgia laminating plant has been in production since 1993. Since working with OSHA's On-site Consultation Program, the plant has logged more than 630,000 work hours with no lost time due to injuries. The facility's Days Away, Restricted and/or Transferred case rate (DART) was 2.34 in 1998, and is now 0.0.

For more information about the On-Site Consultation Program or SHARP, visit OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov.