July 10, 2007
Contact: Sharon Worthy
Phone: (202) 693-4676
BELLINGHAM, Mass. -- BlueLinx Corp.'s Bellingham, Mass., distribution center 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). It is one of 17 BlueLinx facilities in 11 states that have achieved VPP status.
"Employees and management at BlueLinx's Bellingham facility are to be commended," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "This renewal affirms their ongoing and effective commitment to minimizing hazards and maximizing safety and health in their workplace."
The Bellingham distribution facility has 77 employees and first achieved VPP "Star" status in May 2004. Its "Star" renewal came after an OSHA team's on-site review, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite, which found its safety and health programs consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants.
The VPP recognizes worksites that are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards and encourages cooperative relationships between labor, management, unions and government.
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.
More than 1,770 worksites in 270 industries nationwide have earned entry into the VPP. The VPP is open to deserving employers in any industry. 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 safe and healthful workplaces 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.