Wed., May 7, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
WALLINGFORD, Conn. - The U.S. Postal Service's Wallingford post office has achieved "star" status in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The VPP recognizes worksites that are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards and encourages cooperative relationships among labor, management, unions and government.
"Employees and management at the Wallingford facility take a proactive approach to safety and health, so they can identify and remove work-related hazards before they harm employees," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "This mutual commitment to safety and health through the VPP can pay dividends in fewer injuries and illnesses, improved productivity and heightened morale."
The Wallingford facility has 98 employees who are represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. It was awarded its "star" designation after an OSHA team's week-long onsite review, which included interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite, found its safety and health programs consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants.
Wallingford is one of 1,945 worksites in 270 industries nationwide that have earned entry into the VPP. Sixteen other Connecticut worksites, including the Danbury post office, are currently in the program.
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 employers in their respective industries. 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 healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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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