Column: ADOSH really is here to help

MI Metals is an employer in Prescott Valley and I am writing in response to the Courier article regarding the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH). As I read the article, it did not appear that ADOSH had a chance to respond so I’d like to speak for them.

The ADOSH that is described in the article as unfair and quick to fine while slow to educate is an ADOSH that I am unfamiliar with. MI Metals has a very close partnership with ADOSH in which we have benefited greatly from their education on safety. Our direct experience with ADOSH contradicts the characterization of ADOSH in the article.

MI Metals is a small privately held company that has a facility in Prescott Valley. We manufacture aluminum extrusions for multiple manufacturing sectors in the United States. Providing a safe workplace is an important aspect of our business, especially in a high hazard manufacturing environment. Starting in 2004, we began partnering with the ADOSH consultation department to achieve the highest levels of safety for our employees.

We have invited ADOSH consultants into our workplace on several occasions and have always had a positive experience. ADOSH has provided us with invaluable assistance by helping us to identify potential hazards and then making recommendations on corrections. It has been a collaborative effort to partner with ADOSH in making sure our employees return home safe at the end of their shift.

We have discovered that safety must be a team effort and that team must include both employees and management. The ADOSH consultants have become a member of the MI Metals team. The consultation assistance program provided by ADOSH is a free service to small businesses around the state and if you want to use them you have to invite them in … we are glad to invite them to our workplace.

There is an old sarcastic cliché in business that says a person walks in and says “Hi. I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” In the case of ADOSH consultations, when they show up at your facility they really are there to help.

Melvin Mitchell is the Environmental, Health and Safety director at MI Metals, Inc., in Oldsmar, Florida.