MADRAS, Ore. -

Oregon OSHA welcomes the Oregon Child Development Coalition, Inc. (OCDC) in Jefferson County as the latest employer in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

SHARP provides an incentive for Oregon employers to work with their employees to find and correct hazards, develop and implement effective safety and health programs, and continuously improve.

The ultimate goal of SHARP is to encourage employers to become self-sufficient in managing workplace safety and health issues. Currently, close to 60 employer locations in Oregon participate in SHARP, in addition to approximately 110 facilities that have graduated from the program.

OCDC, a private, not-for-profit company, provides Head Start and Oregon pre-kindergarten early childhood education services for low-income and disadvantaged children.

Many of the services OCDC offers are for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, which serves low-income families who obtain at least 50 percent of their income from agricultural work. Family and health services are also provided, including parent education and medical and dental care for children. The Jefferson County location employs 50 workers.

"This is OCDC's second SHARP business unit," said Donalda Dodson, OCDC executive director. "Our goal is to have all OCDC locations in the program. SHARP requires our managers and staff to look at safety and health in a more formal manner. It helps us identify areas that strengthen our safety culture for both employees and children."

Oregon employers that have been in business for more than one year are eligible to apply for SHARP, regardless of size or type of business.