Region 10 News Release: #08-1030-SEA (#08-93)
July 28, 2008
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
U.S. Labor Department's OSHA awards safety and health 'star' to U.S. Postal Service's Bothell, Wash., Main Post Office
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the U.S. Postal Service's Bothell Main Post Office in Bothell, Wash., for excellence in employee safety and health. OSHA welcomed the facility into its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level in a ceremony held at the facility.
The Bothell Main Post Office is a mail delivery and retail sales site where truck deliveries and over the counter mail including letters, magazines and parcels are received for processing and delivery. Mail is separated and distributed by clerks for further sorting and delivery by letter carriers. The process includes sorting of mail by hand and loading it into specialized right-hand drive vehicles for delivery to the community. The facility also sells stamps and other mailing products. The American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union represent the post office's 68 employees.
"The safety and health achievements attained at this facility are impressive, resulting in an injury rate 52 percent below the average postal worksite," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle. "These accomplishments clearly demonstrate that a strong safety and health program supported by management and embraced by labor can lead to a dramatic reduction in injuries and illnesses."
The facility joins an elite corps of more than 2,000 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 VPP star status for three years.
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 accepted into the VPP represent more than 270 industries, and achieve injury and illness rates of more than 50 percent below others in their respective industries.
OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 37 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2006) 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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