Ellison Bronze Completes Seven Consecutive SHARP Years

Ellison Bronze Inc. was recently recognized for achieving seven years in the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program. The SHARP provides companies with formal recognition for maintaining a workplace safety and health program among the most effective in the nation. Located at 125 W. Main St. in Falconer, the employee-owned company manufactures formed stainless steel and bronze doors, extruded aluminum doors, tempered glass doors and tempered glass narrow stile doors. Ellison Bronze invented the balanced door in 1927 and specializes in design and production of balanced doors.

Founded in 1913, Ellison Bronze employs 61 people and is one of only two unionized facilities in Chautauqua County to be accepted into the program, which grants a two-year exemption from routine OSHA inspection that can be renewed. The certification was achieved and has been maintained through a three-way effort involving the state Department of Labor, Ellison Bronze, and Safety Compliance Inc. Paul Songin, state Department of Labor safety consultant, and Joe Budzich, industrial hygienist, completed the recertification.

Maintaining a rate of OSHA-recordable injury at or below a company’s industry average is a key requirement to qualify for the program. A comprehensive safety and health facility inspection, and correction of any deficiencies found is also required as a prerequisite to acceptance into the program. “We try to instill safe work habits and install safe work procedures to create a safe work environment for all employees here at Ellison Bronze. Our employees are really our greatest asset and we want to keep them safe and protected from injury so they can go home in the same condition they came here each day” said Fran Dexter, purchasing manager who also manages the company’s safety program.

The certification has also been an enabling factor in the company’s achievement and maintenance of a reduced workers compensation cost structure. “Providing our employees a safe working environment is the company’s main objective. This program provides that means as well as improving the company’s workers compensation experience rating. Less time off for injury has helped improve the productivity by our employees” said Bill Emerson, company chief financial officer.

Rick Shields and Tim Songin of Safety Compliance Inc. work with the company’s safety committee on a monthly basis completing training, facility inspections, and chairing a safety committee meeting. The safety committee is composed of both employee and management personnel. An action plan is drafted every December that guides the monthly visits for the coming year and also incorporates areas where improvement can be made as a result of employee input and DOL surveys.

“Ellison Bronze has achieved their SHARP certification through their daily efforts to ensure excellence in safety and health. Recertification is contingent upon a commitment of going from good to great. It takes constant monitoring and communication at every level to address possible areas of concern and to resolve those concerns. I’m confident Ellison Bronze will only continue to pay attention to such detail in the future” said Songin.