VPP Star Celebration
Delta Airlines Technical Operations Facility
March 23, 2004
- Thank you Cindy, Ray (Valeika, Sr. Vice President, Delta Technical Operations) and my thanks also to Jim (Swartz, Director of Corporate Safety, Delta) for asking me to help you celebrate Delta's new "double" Star status.
- It is truly a pleasure to be here today. Jim told me that your VPPs are a result of your employee-driven programs. I am heartened to learn that 36 Delta executives from cities and countries around the world have flown into Atlanta today to help you celebrate. Certainly, this represents another measure of strong management and organizational commitment to safety and health and of the global reach of good safety and health programs.
- Last June, I spoke at Delta's VPP workshop here in Atlanta and we talked about "a call to action."
- The discussion focused on leadership, the challenge of VPP and the effort to reduce injuries, increase productivity, and improve the working environment of your organization.
- Delta has taken that challenge. As we celebrate the "double" Star status today for Tech Operations Center's Base Maintenance Facility and Engines, Components & Ground Support Equipment, Delta is already taking the next step to garner yet another Star site.
- VPP is a roadmap to safety excellence, and we know that companies in VPP have injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below the averages for their industries. Delta's Technical Operations is now proudly joining the Star ranks of VPP companies that go beyond OSHA requirements by demonstrating that safety and health is integral to your company culture.
- You've worked hard to demonstrate your excellence in safety and health, and we are pleased to recognize your achievement.
- Reaching VPP Star demonstrates that your organization has what it takes to achieve superior results. You have made good on your commitment.
- I want to commend you for your leadership and your vision. Becoming a Star site shows both that you value your workers' safety and health and you value a cooperative approach.
- Key to your success is involving Delta Tech Operations employees in your safety and health programs.
- There is an old proverb among Native Americans that goes like this: "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand." And I would add, "Involve me and I'll work to continuously improve."
- Involving employees at every level is the only way to continuously improve safety and health -- and increase excellence in your operation as a whole. As you know, each worker is essential to your success.
- It should be quite clear that I'm a strong supporter of VPP. I believe VPP is the best way to drive down injuries and illnesses.
- Today -- we have more than 1,053 VPP sites. But we want to see a dramatic increase in sites. We've established a challenge goal of 8,000. This could lead to great reduction in injuries -- and costs.
- As I noted previously, that's because injury/illness rates at VPP sites are significantly less than other employers in their industries.
- The concepts behind VPP Star provide a tremendous benefit for participants like Delta. Also, Jim tells me that VPP Star and the concepts behind VPP fit into Delta's Operational Excellence goals.
- But this is also a great benefit for the Nation.
- You help leverage our resources. Your partnership in VPP furthers our mission of reducing injuries and illnesses. You serve as models of excellence. And you join us in promoting the value of effective safety and health management systems.
- Today's OSHA's message is simple: Safety and health add value. To your business. To your workplace. To your life.
- I know Delta understands this truth. I know you share our vision for a safety and health work culture.
- VPP is a triple win. The organization benefits. Workers benefit. And the country benefits.
- In joining VPP, you've reached a significant milestone. It is also a foundation stone -- the underpinning for ongoing improvement. I salute you for achieving excellence. And I encourage you to continue pursuing it.
- And, I want you to know that we in OSHA will do everything we can to help you maintain and even exceed your current success. We welcome you as partners and look forward to a mutually helpful relationship where worker safety and health is our common value.