August 13, 2007
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the U.S. Postal Service's Vancouver, Wash., Main Post Office for excellence in worker 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 August 16, at 8 a.m. PDT, at the Vancouver facility.
The primary work performed at the Vancouver Main Post Office, which operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is processing letter mail and providing administrative work for five U.S. postal facilities in Vancouver and four other postal facilities in southwest Washington state. The 185 employees working at the site are represented by the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.
"The safety and health achievements obtained at this facility are truly remarkable, resulting in a record injury rate 65 percent below the average postal worksite. These accomplishments clearly demonstrate that a strong safety and health program that is supported by management and embraced by labor can lead to a dramatic reduction in injuries and illnesses," said Richard Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.
This facility joins an elite corps of nearly 1,800 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The star designation came after an OSHA on-site 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 for three years under the agency's VPP Corporate Pilot Program.
OSHA's VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. To qualify, 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 at least 50 percent below their respective industries' averages.
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.
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