ST. LOUIS ‒ Seeking to challenge an unfortunate fact in the cold steel manufacturing industry – where nearly 4 percent of all cold steel workers suffer recordable injuries each year – one Missouri company took action in 2016, setting a goal to change its safety culture to develop a better safety awareness and risk assessment of the potential for employee’s getting injured on the job.

St. Louis Cold Drawn Inc. contacted Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program officials to help them improve their safety and health management program. The revised program addresses hazards, ensures training, and implements preventive measures to keep workers safe. Workers in the cold steel industry face conditions during production, maintenance and shipping of finished products that expose them to many hazards, including amputation, fractures and crushing injuries.

“The Missouri On-Site Consultation Program helped St. Louis Cold Drawn understand that OSHA works cooperatively with businesses who voluntarily implement programs to ensure the workers’ safety and health,” said U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Acting Regional Administrator Steven J. Kaplan in Kansas City, Missouri. “St. Louis Cold Drawn made major improvements to its safety programs and did so with worker input. These efforts increased the ownership and involvement in safety at all levels of the company’s organization and significantly enhanced its safety culture.”

During 14 separate safety and health visits, the consultants identified hazards and worked with the company’s maintenance and production team to implement new safety measures. Specifically, the company added new machine guarding, adjusted its warehouse layout to better protect workers from hazards, and improved ergonomics and hazard communication throughout the facility.

“The example of St. Louis Cold Drawn’s ability to reduce injury and illness significantly in a high-hazard industry shows what can be done when a company listens to its workers and involves them in emphasizing training and using required procedures to develop effective workplace safety programs,” Kaplan said.  

The company earned OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program status in September 2020 and will seek renewal in 2022. SHARP acknowledges small and medium-sized businesses that have used OSHA On-Site Consultation Services and operate exemplary workplace safety and health programs.

St. Louis Cold Drawn Inc. manufactures cold-drawn rounds, hexagons, squares, and special sections for the automotive and industrial markets in the U.S. The company employs about 125 people at its location in St. Louis.

Learn more about OSHA’s SHARP program. Companies interested in the program should contact the local OSHA On-Site Consultation Program to discuss details and schedule an on-site safety and health evaluation. Find the On-Site Consultation Program nearest you by calling 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visiting OSHA’s program website.

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