Jan. 16, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Acushnet Company's Custom Operations plant in New Bedford will continue its participation in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The VPP recognizes companies committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.
"Workers and management at this plant have a right to be proud," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "Their continuing commitment to employee's health and safety has kept the plant's injury and illness rates well below the industry average."
The plant employs 304 employees and manufactures customized golf balls. Its "Star" renewal comes after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's application and its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. This marks the plant's second VPP renewal. It first entered VPP as a "Star" site in 1998 and received its first renewal in December 2001.
Among the areas of excellence identified during OSHA's latest review are the plant's Six Point Safety and Health Program, which helps the company evaluate its safety and health goals; the Acushnet HealthWise Wellness for Life Program, in which employees earn credits for taking a health risk assessment and participating in a self-improvement program; a new cafeteria with subsidized healthy food choices; and a new 24-hour gym for use by associates and their families.
Acushnet Company's Custom Operations plant is one of 1,600 workplaces in 270 industries nationwide that have earned VPP status. Beyond being a role model for safety and health in their respective industries, VPP companies generally experience many other positive benefits such as fewer lost workday injuries, an injury and illness rate 53 percent below the average for their industries and reduced workers' compensation costs.
VPP is open to deserving employers in any industry. Requirements for application 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. Additional information is available from the VPP manager at the OSHA regional office in Boston 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.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.