Region 10 News Release: 09-612-SEA (09-77)
June 9, 2009
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
U.S. Labor Department's OSHA awards safety and health star to U.S. Postal Service's Juneau Mendenhall post office
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize the U.S. Postal Service's Juneau Mendenhall Post Office for excellence in employee safety and health when the agency welcomes the facility into its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level at a June 10, 11 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time ceremony at its facility at 9491 Vintage Blvd. in Juneau, Alaska.
"Management and labor working together has resulted in an injury and illness rate that is 86 percent below the national average for the postal industry," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle. "The Juneau Mendenhall Post Office demonstrates excellence in effective safety and health management."
The primary work performed at the Juneau Mendenhall Post Office includes collection, sorting, delivery and distribution of U.S. domestic and foreign mail. The site is a 24-hour operation, six days a week in two shifts with variable start times. The facility has limited automated mail sorting capability and an average daily mail delivery volume of more than 33,000 pieces. Revenue from retail services at the facility total approximately $1,560,000 annually. The 86 employees on site are represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.
The star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs in September 2008, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
The Juneau Mendenhall Post Office facility is one of more than 2,160 worksites in 270 industries nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. 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 average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.
OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 38 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2007) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA will continue to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.
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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