Feb. 12, 2007
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the U.S. Postal Service's Everett Processing and Distribution Center for excellence in employee health and safety. OSHA will welcome the facility into its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the highest level, the VPP Star, in a ceremony to be held Feb.14, at 10:30 a.m. at the Everett, Wash., facility.
The primary work performed at the Everett Processing and Distribution Center is receiving, sorting and distribution of the U.S domestic and foreign mail. The facility processes more than 2 million letters, packages and magazines each day and provides maintenance and custodial support to all sur¬rounding U.S. Postal Service stations, branches and associate offices. The 380 employees working at the site are represented by American Postal Workers Union, Cascade Local, and National Mail Handlers Local 316.
"The commitment of Everett Processing and Distribution Center employees and management to safety and health has resulted in a significant reduction in injuries and illnesses at this facility," said Richard Terrill, OSHA regional administrator in Seattle. "The VPP, with its emphasis on worksite analysis, hazard prevention and safety training, has provided an excellent framework for them to work together to accomplish this goal."
The facility joins an elite corps of more than 1,600 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The Star designation came after an OSHA on-site review of its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA approved the VPP Star level at the facility for three years in its Corporate Program.
OSHA's VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. In the program, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a worksite that has implemented strong safety and health systems.
To qualify for VPP status, sites must meet or exceed all OSHA regulatory standards and submit to an OSHA review of their programs. Companies that have been accepted into the VPP represent more than 270 industries. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industry's average.
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.
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