OSHA officials recognize Simmons' plant safety efforts

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) invited executives from Atlanta-based Simmons Bedding Company to Washington, D.C., to recognize the company’s efforts in safety and health management.


Edwin G. Foulke Jr., assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health and head of OSHA, met with Charlie Eitel, Simmons’ chairman and CEO, and Jonathan Dawe, Ph.D., Simmons’ director of safety, health, wellness and workers' compensation, at OSHA headquarters in Washington. At the meeting, OSHA officials singled out Simmons as a safety and health management leader in the bedding manufacturing industry.


During the meeting, the Simmons executives discussed the company’s approach to safety and health management with senior officials at OSHA. Eitel and Dawe also filmed a testimonial video that OSHA will use for national marketing of an advanced OSHA safety program, the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).


“This occasion underscores Simmons’ commitment to expanding our involvement with OSHA’s cooperative programs like SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) and VPP,” said Eitel. “That is a long-term priority for us, and we are honored to know that OSHA views Simmons as an exemplary provider of superior employee safety.”


Workplace safety models

OSHA, which oversees workplace safety for the federal government, created VPP and SHARP to identify businesses that serve as models of workplace safety in their industries and local business communities. To qualify, companies must exhibit a management structure committed to ensuring employee safety and well-being. They also must meet a number of requirements to be recommended for certification, including:

• Resolving any potential dangers noted during a hazard identification survey

• Using an OSHA-compliant safety and health management system

• Lowering specific injury, illness and incident rates below the national average


Safety results

This past January, OSHA’s Boston regional office and the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety named Simmons’ Agawam, Mass., facility one of 13 SHARP sites in the state of Massachusetts. Simmons’ Agawam plant posted an OSHA incident rate of 1.1 last year, compared to the furniture industry’s incident rate of 8.8 during that same time period.


The inclusion of the Agawam facility in SHARP is just the latest of several safety accolades garnered by Simmons manufacturing plants across the country:

• In 2006, Cal/OSHA honored the company’s San Leandro, Calif., facility with the Golden Gate Partnership Recognition for its employee safety program.

• In 2005, the company’s Charlotte, N.C., plant was included in SHARP for the first time, and Simmons’ Phoenix plant renewed its membership in SHARP and VPP Star.  


About Simmons

Atlanta-based Simmons Company, through its indirect subsidiary Simmons Bedding Company, is one of the world's largest mattress manufacturers, manufacturing and marketing a broad range of products under brands including Beautyrest, Beautyrest Black, Natural Care, ComforPedic by Simmons, BackCare, Beautyrest Beginnings and Deep Sleep. Simmons Bedding Company operates 21 conventional bedding manufacturing facilities and two juvenile bedding manufacturing facilities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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