Third GSW Plant Receives Safety Award


BUSHNELL, FL—Just a few years ago, Great Southern Wood’s plant in Bushnell, Florida, had a safety rating that was at a level higher than the company strived for in light of its dedication to safety. Because lower is better, a few pointed words from the boss gave the management team all the inspiration it needed to make improvements in the plant’s safety procedures and rating. 


The good results that followed culminated in the recent certification from OSHA’s Safety Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). “To accomplish such an award was not an individual effort,” said Production Manager Sean Odell. “It took the entire team to attain this. And our team is a big one.”


The work began in earnest in 2006 when Keith Brown, a safety consultant with The University of South Florida, began to work with the plant to assess its programs and take steps to improve the safety rating.


Initially, the plant was awarded a one-year OSHA deferral based on the work they accomplished in 2007. In 2008, the plant met the challenge by having zero OSHA injuries for the calendar year, which exceeded the requirements for the SHARP certification. On Friday, June 26, 2009, the production team at the Florida plant received their official SHARP certification award and flag to confirm approval of their SHARP status by OSHA.


“It’s not an award to management,” according to Brown. “It takes everyone’s participation and influence to accomplish this certification.”


Employees celebrated with a steak lunch and lots of praise from their general manager. “None of this is possible without you guys,” said GM Mike French. “Only a few more than 20 companies in the entire state of Florida have qualified for this award. I want to thank you personally for a good job and give you a big hand of congratulations for this accomplishment.”


Wanda Moody, Director of Human Resources for Great Southern Wood, congratulated the group as well. “It is evident that the employees at the Florida plant take safety seriously in their everyday jobs,” she said. “The employees are noted for watching out for each other and making safety a team effort. The company applauds their efforts and congratulates them on achieving the SHARP certification.”


Odell says it was made clear to him when he became the Florida plant’s production manager that GSW expected them to achieve the SHARP award.  “I want that award,” he recalled CEO and GSW owner Jimmy Rane saying to him. “You see, GSW feels each of us should have a safe and healthy environment to work in,” Odell told the lunch crowd. “Let’s see if we can make 2009 another accident-free year.”


Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated and its subsidiaries are the number one producer of pressure treated pine in the nation and operate ten full-service, state-of-the-art treating facilities across the country. Additional subsidiaries and plants are located in Abbeville, AL; Mobile, AL; Tuscumbia, AL; Jesup, GA; Sumter County, FL; Columbus, TX; Buckner, MO; Glenwood, AR; and Mt. Pleasant, TX. Great Southern Wood’s Bushnell, Florida plant is owned and operated by Great Southern Wood – Bushnell, Inc. Perhaps best known for producing YellaWood® brand pressure treated pine, Great Southern Wood provides a wide variety of pressure treated building products to building supply centers across the Southern and Midwestern United States.

For more information on the SHARP program, visit the website at