March 13, 2007
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
HOOKSETT, N.H. -- Goodwill Industries of northern New England's Hooksett retail store has been certified to participate in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The retail store, which employs 14 people, was certified as a VPP "Merit" site following an OSHA team's on-site review of its application and its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a tour of the workplace. It now joins more than 1,600 worksites in 280 industries nationwide that have earned entry into the prestigious VPP.
"The Voluntary Protection Programs provide an opportunity for worksites to commit to developing and maintaining effective employee protections beyond the requirements of OSHA standards," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Having achieved the ¿Merit' designation, this store will now have the opportunity to go further and seek ¿Star' status, the VPP's highest level."
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 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.
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.