Region 1 News Release: 06-312-BOS/ BOS 2006-053
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
MASSPOWER's Indian Orchard Plant Again Earns Prestigious OSHA "Star"
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- MASSPOWER's Indian Orchard energy co-generation plant has been recertified for an additional five-year membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"This award spotlights MASSPOWER's continuing commitment to effective safety and health management at this site," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Our review of the plant's safety and health management programs found they continue to be consistent with the high quality of VPP participants, while its injury and illness rates remain exceptionally low."
Twenty-two employees work at the Indian Orchard plant, which continues as part of an elite corps of about 1,400 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition. Its "Star" recertification came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. The plant was first certified as a "Star" site in March 1997 and then recertified in September 2000.
"A particular area of excellence is the company's substantial investments in safety and health, particularly employee training and personal protective equipment" said Kent. "It also maintains a full-time environmental health and safety manager and provides industrial hygiene consultants when needed."
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs offer employers an opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP 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. For more information, contact OSHA's VPP manager in Boston at (617) 565-9890.
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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships, and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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