Region 1 News Release: 06-229-BOS/ BOS 2006-054
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
Biddeford-Saco, Maine, Postal Annex Earns Prestigious OSHA "Star"
BIDDEFORD-SACO, Maine -- The U.S. Postal Service's Biddeford-Saco Carrier Annex has earned membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The facility, which distributes and delivers mail to several Maine zip codes, employs 80 workers. It now joins an elite corps of about 1,400 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition. The "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's application and safety and health program, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
"Our review of this facility's safety and health management programs found them consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants, while its injury and illness rates are below the industry average," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator.
In qualifying for "Star" status, the facility verified that it had implemented programs and procedures that go beyond OSHA standards and feature extensive involvement in workplace safety and health by both management and workers. Its written safety and health management system effectively addresses worksite hazards by identifying and tracking them to ensure their correction and control. Its safety and health training programs ensure that employees and contractors understand occupational hazards and how to control them.
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 at least 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. Additional information is available from the VPP manager at the OSHA regional office 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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