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The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) is the largest Naval shore facility in the Pacific Northwest. The Shipyard's capabilities include alteration, overhaul and repair, construction, and drydocking of all types of naval vessels. In January 2006, it became the third naval shipyard to achieve OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star recognition, joining Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire and Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia.
VPP Process Reduces Injuries and Illnesses at the Shipyard
When PSNS began the VPP process in 1995, their Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) was 22.8. Through the implementation and maturation of VPP tenets, the site has demonstrated drastic reductions in those rates. In 2007, their TCIR was reduced to 5.6 – a reduction of 75 percent since initiating the VPP process. Their 2007 rate is also 47 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national average for the ship building and repair industry. The table below presents PSNS’ TCIR over the past decade and the steady reduction once becoming involved with OSHA’s VPP.
Increased Employee Involvement and Knowledge of Safety and Heath Drives Success
PSNS determined that employee involvement was a key component for driving success. They worked hard to increase safety awareness among all employees and empowered the work force to accept responsibility for their own personal safety and the safety of their co-workers. Examples of how they accomplished this include:
Entered VPP: January 2006
Industry and NAICS and SIC Codes: NAICS 336611 – Ship Building and Repair
Employees: 8,500 employees; 2,500 contractors
Source and Date: David Baker, OSHA Region X Regional Office, and Dan Haas, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (August 2008)