Jan. 12, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. -- The U.S. Postal Service's Goffstown post office is the first postal facility in New Hampshire to earn membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The VPP recognizes worksites committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.
The "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the facility's application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a walk-through of the worksite. OSHA's review found the facility's safety and health management system consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants while its injury and illness rates remained below the industry average.
"Employees and management at the Goffstown post office should be proud of this milestone," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Their accomplishment in working together to reduce occupational hazards can serve as a model for other Granite State worksites."
The facility's 24 employees, represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), deliver mail to the Goffstown and Dumbarton areas. The Goffstown post office now joins an elite corps of 1,600 worksites in 270 industries that have earned entry into VPP.
Through VPP, employers and employees have experienced significant decreases in fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Associated cost reductions include lowered workers' compensation expenses, with positive changes in company culture and attitudes toward safety and health, and injury rates lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite hazard analysis; prevention and control programs and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the program. More information is available from the VPP manager in OSHA's Boston regional office at (617) 565-9890.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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