Superior Linen Service Earns SHARP Recognition

Posted February 27, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Superior Linen Service execs join with state and federal officials for the SHARP event. (l/r) Todd Dennis, Bootsie Ackerman (U.S. Rep. Steve Womack), Leon Jones (Arkansas Dept. of Labor), Jarrad Shields, JR Little and Doug Waldman.

Superior Linen Services’ Eastern Division, based in Springdale, AR, recently achieved OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certification from the Arkansas Dept. of Labor.

“Obtaining SHARP certification was a long steady journey,” said Chief Compliance Officer Russell Holt. “We started many years ago with a vision to have a model safety program. We developed a safety management system. We implemented behavior-based safety. We conducted training. We developed safety committee meetings that included employees and management, and much more – all with the intent of cultivating a safety culture. I cannot overemphasize the outstanding teamwork between employees and management that it took to get the plant to this level of safety excellence.”

The Eastern Division’s plant was shut down on Feb. 20 for a luncheon to celebrate the company’s SHARP certification, according to a news release. Arkansas’ Director of the Dept. of Labor Leon Jones presented the award. Also in attendance was Bootsie Ackerman, district director for US Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR). Ackerman read a letter from Rep. Womack expressing his congratulations to Superior Linen Service for its success. Spring Street Grill, a longtime customer, catered the event.

The On-Site Consultation Program's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes business employers like Superior Linen Service/Springdale that operate an exemplary injury- and-illness prevention program. Acceptance into SHARP from the Arkansas Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an achievement that singles the company out among its peers as a model for worksite safety and health. Currently, there are 47 companies in Arkansas that have achieved the SHARP certification. The program is designed for companies with fewer than 250 employees at a location and less than 500 people companywide.

To qualify for SHARP certification, Superior Linen Service had to keep its injury, illness and incident rates below the national industry average for for several years. This speaks to the level of engagement by both the employees and management working together to help create the safest work environment possible for everyone, Holt said.

In order to maintain the SHARP status, the Eastern Division must keep its injury and illness rate below industry averages and go through safety consultation audits from the Arkansas DOL’s OSHA consultants next year. “Of course, our goal is to have each location achieve this prestigious safety award,” Holt said, speaking of the company’s other facilities in Oklahoma and Arkansas. “It is a win for everyone.”