Collins Bus Receives Award for Commitment to Workplace Safety

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The Kansas Department of Labor joined state and local officials in presenting Collins Bus Corporation with Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program certification for operating an exemplary safety and health management system for its employees.

The SHARP award, administered by state labor departments in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recognizes Collins as a national model for workplace safety and health.

“You are an excellent role model for other small employers in our state to follow,” said Clifford Morris, acting director of the Kansas Department of Labor Division of Industrial Safety & Health. “SHARP is an award only presented to companies that have achieved excellence in the area of safety and health and have met rigid OSHA criteria. Collins Bus Corporation is one of only 157 companies that have achieved this distinction in Kansas.”

Collins employs more than 220 workers at its South Hutchinson, Kan., plant.

To qualify for SHARP certification, companies must undergo a comprehensive evaluation and series of audits, correct any identifiable hazards, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place, and maintain lost-workday injury and illness rates below the national average for the last three years. Collins’ SHARP certification is good for two years and frees the company from OSHA compliance inspections during that period. Collins may then request a SHARP renewal for another two years.

“Safety is the first and most important priority of every Collins employee,” said Kent Tyler, president of Collins Bus. “I could not be prouder of the management team and employees who not only practice safety on the production floor but who also build safety into every school and activity bus that rolls off our production line.”

Among the officials joining the Kansas Labor Department in congratulating Collins employees were Kansas House of Representatives Speaker Mike O’Neal and South Hutchinson Mayor Weldon Cook.

In June, Collins Bus received the Kansas State Safety Award, or K-Safe, for operating more than 500,000 hours without a time-lost injury, a distinction given to only 14 Kansas companies in 2009. In June 2009, a tornado damaged the previous Collins Bus plant and the company moved to a new facility.