Jan. 16, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
LAKEVILLE, Mass. -- The U.S. Postal Service's Lakeville Post Office has become the sixth postal facility in Massachusetts 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 and encourages cooperative relationships between labor, management, unions and government. The Lakeville Post Office's 'Star' designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a walk-through of the worksite.
'Our review found that the Lakeville facility's safety and health management system is consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants and its illness and injury rates remain well below the industry average,' said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. 'Employees and management are to be commended on their joint effort to ensure the safety and health of employees at this site.'
Among Lakeville's areas of excellence is its provision of ergonomic mats, gloves, trays and carts to reduce musculoskeletal hazards; annual safety inspections of mail delivery vehicles; equipping each delivery vehicle with parcel post dollies; and providing carriers with personal protective equipment for extreme weather.
The Lakeville facility employs 56 employees who are represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). It now joins an elite corps of 1,600 worksites nationwide that have earned entry into VPP.
Through the VPP, employers and employees have experienced significant decreases in fatalities, injuries and illnesses; associated cost reductions including lowered workers' compensation expenses; positive changes in company culture and attitudes toward safety and health and average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP is 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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