April 30, 2007
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Recognition ceremony to be held on May 2
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize the U.S. Postal Service's Mail Handlers Annex in Pocatello, Idaho, for membership into its prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the highest, or "Star," level in a ceremony at the facility on May 2 at 11 a.m. MDT.
"The commitment of employees and management at the Mail Handlers Annex in Pocatello to achieve VPP 'Star' status has resulted in fewer injuries and illnesses at this facility," said Richard Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle. "The VPP, with its emphasis on worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety training, has provided an excellent framework for them to work together to accomplish this goal."
The primary work performed by the 100 employees at the annex is receiving, sorting, processing and distributing U.S. domestic and foreign mail. The facility provides sorting and distribution to 83 associate offices and processes an average of 953,000 pieces of mail daily. Best practices at the facility include: an employee "Right to Know" station that gives employees immediate access to all employee safety and health programs; a central vacuum system for easier cleaning of and better access to equipment; and modified heavy mail hampers to reduce the lifting of heavy packages.
The VPP comprises more than 1,700 worksites nationwide. To qualify for VPP status, a site must meet or exceed all OSHA regulatory standards and submit to a review of its programs. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industries' averages. Through the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at sites that have implemented strong safety and health systems.
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. The U.S. Department of Labor 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.