Bus Manufacturer Honored for Safety Achievements

The Kansas company has won SHARP certification. It is the largest manufacturer of Type-A school and activity buses in North America.

Managers and employees of Collins Bus Corporation of South Hutchinson, Kansas, received Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certification Dec. 9 in a ceremony attended by officials of the Kansas Department of Labor, Kansas House of Representatives Speaker Mike O'Neal, and Weldon Cook, mayor of South Hutchinson.

Storms have damaged the plant more than once in recent years, but not one was hurt in those incidents. Employees quickly restored full operation each time.

The award recognizes Collins, which is the largest manufacturer of small Type-A school and activity buses in North America with more than 220 employees at the plant, as a national model for workplace safety and health.

Clifford Morris, acting director of the Kansas Department of Labor Division of Industrial Safety & Health, told the employees, "You are an excellent role model for other small employers in our state to follow. 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."

To qualify for the certification, companies must undergo a comprehensive evaluation and series of audits, correct identified 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 past three years. Collins' certification is good for two years and frees it from OSHA compliance inspections during that period. It can be renewed for two additional years.

"Safety is the first and most important priority of every Collins employee," said Kent Tyler, president of the company. "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."

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