Region 10 News Release: #08-474-SEA (#08-49)
April 14, 2008
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
U.S. Labor Department's OSHA awards safety and health 'star' to U.S. Postal Service's Spokane Processing & Distribution Center
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the U.S. Postal Service's Processing & Distribution Center in Spokane, Wash., for excellence in employee safety and health. OSHA will welcome the facility into its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the "star," or highest, level, in a ceremony to be held on April 17 at 11 a.m. PDT at the facility, which is located at 2928 S. Spotted Road.
The 436 employees at the Spokane facility receive, process and distribute U.S. domestic and foreign mail. The employees, who work in three shifts, process three million pieces of mail daily for distribution to 281 associate offices. Additional operations at the facility include a bulk mail entry unit, a computerized forwarding system unit, an air mail facility and administrative support. The employees are represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.
"The level of safety and health excellence achieved at the U.S. Postal Service's Spokane Processing and Distribution Center is impressive and shows that work can be done safely with management commitment, employee involvement and the implementation of effective safety processes," said Richard Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.
The facility joins an elite corps of more than 1,945 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The "star" designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA has approved the facility's star status in its VPP Corporate Program for three years.
OSHA's VPP recognizes and promotes the agency's vision of an effective safety and health management system in every workplace in America. VPP approval is OSHA's official recognition of the efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary performance in occupational safety and health.
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 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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