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Minn.’s Aspen Equipment Earns Trusight Safety Award

Thu December 13, 2012 - Midwest Edition
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(L-R) are Twin Cities Occupational Health’s Adam Keplinger, Aspen Equipment’s Sharon Hengel, Trusight’s Deborah Dorgan pictured at the Trusight Awards Banquet in St. Louis Park, Minn., on Oct. 25.
(L-R) are Twin Cities Occupational Health’s Adam Keplinger, Aspen Equipment’s Sharon Hengel, Trusight’s Deborah Dorgan pictured at the Trusight Awards Banquet in St. Louis Park, Minn., on Oct. 25.

Trusight Inc., an employer’s association representing 1,150-member companies across Minnesota, awarded Aspen Equipment Company the highest honor of first place for its integrated well-being and safety program.

Aspen Equipment partnered with occupational medicine provider, Twin Cities Occupational Health and Rehabilitation (TCOHR), to implement an ergonomics program designed to prevent injuries and reduce the impact of physical labor on its workforce.

Functional job descriptions were developed to clarify the physical demands of specific positions to ensure new employees are physically fit to perform the work required on the job — and to accommodate any restrictions needed when a worker is hired with known limitations.

According to Aspen Equipment president, Steve Sill, “Our goal is that the well-being program will benefit employees not only at work, but in the quality of life they enjoy outside of work too.”

Sharon Hengel, human resources manager at Aspen Equipment, added, “Knowing that many jobs require workers to maintain awkward static postures, perform repetitive tasks involving shoulders, arms and wrists, and the frequent use of vibration and impact tools, our first idea was to implement a stretching program. It quickly grew into much more, improving employees’ lives and even those of their families. Going forward, we plan to expand these same principles into office areas, knowing that desk jobs also have impact on quality of life from being sedentary much of the day.”

A unique feature of this program is that although it’s strongly supported by the management of Aspen Equipment, this is an employee-driven program.

“The partnership between Aspen Equipment and TCOHR seeks to address four key areas: 1) prevent work related injuries; 2) decrease employee aches and pains while on and off the job; 3) improve operations within the workplace from an ergonomic standpoint and; 4) establish cultural changes related to management vs. employee buy-in, to a culture of wellness participation,” said Jim Sebesta, vice president of business development for TCOHR.

“TCOHR is proud of our ongoing relationship with Aspen Equipment and congratulates Aspen’s management team in receiving the Trusight Award,” he added.

“I am proud of this program because it provides employees with a resource to become responsible for their own safety and well-being. It’s always been my feeling that taking care of employees is critical in taking care of business,” said Sill.

For more information, visit www.tcohr.com.