Region 10 News Release: #06-627-SEA (#06-30)
Date: April 11, 2006
Contact: Jeannine Lupton or Michael Shimizu
U. S. Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., Earns Prestigious OSHA "Star" for Workplace Safety and Health
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the United States Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS), for continued excellence in worker health and safety. A ceremony will be held April 12 to recognize the facility for achieving the highest level in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), the VPP Star.
"PSNS has clearly demonstrated that, with management and labor collaboration, it is possible to implement a systematic approach to safety by utilizing worksite analysis, hazard control and prevention, and employee training," said Richard Terrill, OSHA regional administrator. "Their efforts have meant that far fewer shipyard employees have been injured in recent years." Since PSNS started the VPP process in 1998, the shipyard has cut its injury and illness rates in half.
PSNS performs nuclear reactor servicing, ship overhaul and repair, and alteration to U.S. Naval surface ships and submarines. Additionally, the shipyard recycles nuclear submarines and surface ships for the Navy. The facility joins an elite corps of 1,400 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
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 280 industries. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industry's average rates.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. The role of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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