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The Northrop Grumman Ship Systems - Newport News Approach
September 21, 2004
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems - Avondale Operations
New Orleans, Louisiana
Representatives from the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) and Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) and OSHA's national Office, Region III and Region VI attended the event at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) in New Orleans, LA.
High-risk shipbuilding industry, labor, and government representatives discussed sharing ideas and lessons learned through the VPP. John Miles, Region VI Administrator, who made a presentation on the VPP activities in his region, said that the seminar was an excellent example of informing management and labor representatives about the value of becoming a VPP worksite.
Steve Morris, Director of Safety, with SCA member Jeffboat LLC said that the presentations answered several questions he had about meeting VPP requirements. "Through cooperative programs like the VPP, I sincerely believe that OSHA is heading in the right direction to help businesses create safety and health programs that are effective in protecting workers," he said.
In the afternoon sessions, management and labor representatives, from NGSS - Newport News, one of two shipyards participating in the VPP, and an OSHA Region III representative had a panel discussion about how the VPP application process and program requirements improved NGSS- Newport News' safety and health programs and working relationships with OSHA.
Following the panel discussion, members of NGSS-Avondale's Safety Action Team updated the group on the actions that they are taking to prepare Avondale's application for the VPP. David Glynn, Deputy Director of NGSS-Avondale Operations Environmental, Safety & Health said the seminar offered a great opportunity for the participants to interact with the OSHA staff which will be helpful as NGSS-Avondale continues to move forward with the VPP certification process.
The seminar impressed Leigh Jackson, OSHA Region IV's VPP Officer, with how the event emphasized industry and OSHA working together. "Worksites that have begun to implement OSHA's VPP requirements have discovered the benefits through reduced workplace injuries and illnesses," Jackson said. "At the seminar, we heard employers and employees say that workman's compensation and insurance costs can be reduced by lower injury and illness rates, which result in increased revenues and employee morale. That's just smart business."