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A Unit of The Enterprise Innovation Institute
May 31, 2023

Refrigerated Vehicle Specialists Deliver Safety

Note: Emerald Transportation Solutions signed a waiver of the confidentiality clause (1908.6(h)(2)) for the OSHA 21(d) Consultation program, allowing this story about the company’s work with the Safety, Health, and Environmental Services (SHES) program in Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute to be published.

Man working on a van with safety equipment

Watch the video here.

Customer Profile

Emerald Transportation Solutions is a privately owned, end-to-end provider of refrigerated vans and trucks. Headquartered in Fayetteville, Georgia, with a manufacturing facility in Griffin, Georgia, the company has been around since 2013 and has 65 employees.

Situation

After growing steadily from 2013 through 2019, Emerald found its business skyrocketing during the pandemic, as more and more people had groceries — and other necessities — delivered to their homes, causing an increase in the need for last-mile delivery vehicles that move products from a transportation hub to homes or businesses.

Working to meet this increased demand, Emerald outgrew its space in four buildings and two surface lots in Fayetteville and moved to a single large facility in Griffin that would allow for a streamlined assembly process under one roof. To better manage the health and safety of employees in the new facility, Emerald brought in the Safety, Health, and Environmental Services (SHES) team to survey the facility and the company’s health and safety practices and make recommendations.

SHES consultants looked at elements of Emerald’s overall safety and health management system, asking questions such as:

  • How does the company anticipate and detect hazards?
  • How does the company prevent hazards and plan for and control hazards?

 

Issues that were uncovered during the inspections included electrical safety, fall protection, compressed gas cylinder safety, and clearing exit routes — issues that are common in manufacturing facilities.

The health team performed contaminant and noise-level monitoring. These were found to be within guidelines. They also examined Emerald’s hazard communication program, and other health and safety documentation.

Results

The results of Emerald Transportation Solutions and SHES working together have been to create a safer workplace for all employees by:

  • Correcting electrical hazards, including open junction boxes
  • Adding restraints to keep employees from falling off ladders, trucks, and more
  • Adding an emergency action plan
  • Making Safety Data Sheets accessible
  • Holding monthly safety meetings
  • Tracking and documenting training
  • Adding an environmental health and safety manager

“There are a lot of things that the SHES group pointed out as deficiencies that we’ve turned around and put into place to make the plant safer for our employees. We couldn’t have done all of that without SHES.” — Wes Funsch, chief operating officer, Emerald Transportation Solutions