Fri., Nov. 21, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
ATTLEBORO, Mass. - The U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) post office in Attleboro, Mass., is the latest postal service worksite in New England to achieve star status in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Agency officials welcomed the facility into the VPP in a flag-raising ceremony held today at the facility.
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. The VPP star is the highest level of recognition that OSHA awards.
"Employees and management at the Attleboro post office take a proactive approach to safety and health, working together to evaluate, identify and eliminate hazards before they hurt employees," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "This mutual commitment through the VPP has paid dividends in fewer injuries and illnesses."
The Attleboro facility has 65 employees who are represented by the American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers and National Rural Letter Carriers Association. The star designation came after an OSHA team's three-day onsite review found its safety and health programs consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants.
Among the Attleboro facility's areas of excellence is its relationship with the city of Attleboro and its use of local cable television to educate the public about the top hazards faced by mail carriers on their routes and the importance of keeping the areas around homes and businesses free from those hazards.
The Attleboro post office now joins more than 2,110 worksites nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Employers that have been accepted into the VPP represent more than 270 industries. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; 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 VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.
USPS facilities in Lakeville and Wareham, Mass., and Pawtucket and West Warwick, R.I., also have earned VPP entry. More information is available from OSHA's Boston Regional Office at 617-565-9890 or online at www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp.
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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