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CHCS certified by OSHA safety program for 18th straight year

In a time when workplace safety is more important than ever before, Community HealthCare System has received certification by a special program from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the 18th year in a row.

Since 2002, CHCS has been recognized as the only hospital in Kansas and one of only a handful in the nation to uphold the highest standards of worksite safety and health by the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program, or SHARP.

“Our associates uphold the highest standards of safety and care for our patients and residents, and we are pleased to meet the rigorous standards and processes required by OSHA SHARP,” said Todd Willert, CEO.

When CHCS began the program in 2001, the system was growing and needed to standardize and improve processes as it added facilities and clinics. CHCS officials worked with the Kansas Department of Labor Safety Assistance and Consultation Program and OSHA to identify workplace hazards and improve safety and health programs.

Working with the consultants has built knowledge through the years and helped CHCS continue to learn and anticipate risks. Michael Bomberger, director of business development and special projects, has helped guide the process. Bomberger said he is proud of both CHCS’s safety record and how associates have responded to OSHA SHARP.

“The program encourages organizational anticipatory critical thinking, engineering out accidents before they happen, and conducting root cause analysis to fix things going forward when incidents occur,” Bomberger said.

Bomberger and Willert said that having an attitude of safety was a help in determining how to best protect patients, residents, and associates from COVID-19.

“When a pandemic arrives, it’s not the time to ask how to establish good safety procedures. Because we have participated in OSHA SHARP for many years, working through necessary steps was much easier for us than it would have been otherwise,” Bomberger said.

Allen Vinyard, director of Industrial Safety and Health at the Kansas Department of Labor, said he is pleased to recognize CHCS’ ongoing success with the program.

“The Kansas Department of Labor’s Industrial Safety and Health is proud of our SHARP program. We like to see groups such as Community HealthCare System being continuously successful inside the SHARP program and out. Our goal is to assist the employers of the State of Kansas protect their employees at work. Our job is made just that much easier when working with employers such as CHCS,” Vinyard said. 

Willert said that safety efforts at CHCS are cross-disciplinary and highly collaborative.

“The best safety success comes when everyone – from human resources to communications to medical, nursing, and environmental services staff – work together to implement best practices and provide ongoing support and training. I’m proud of our team for its continued work and success,” Willert said.

Community HealthCare System sites certified by OSHA SHARP until July 2021 include Centralia Clinic, Onaga Community Hospital, Eastridge Skilled Nursing Facility, Frankfort Clinic, Onaga Clinic, Community HomeHealth, Redbud Plaza Assisted Living, St. Marys Clinic, St. Marys Community Hospital, St. Marys Manor, and Westmoreland Clinic.


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