April 9, 2007
Contact: Sharon Worthy David Sims
Phone: (202) 693-4676 (202) 693-1898
Company fulfills commitment for all U.S. manufacturing plants ahead of schedule
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today awarded L'Oréal USA's Florence, Ky., manufacturing plant the agency's highest safety and health award: a Voluntary Protection Programs' (VPP) "Star" flag.
With this flag, L'Oréal fulfills a 2003 promise to obtain VPP status for all six of its U.S. manufacturing plants within five years.
"L'Oréal is clearly committed to protecting the safety and health of its employees and, with recognition of today's achievement, the company has set an extraordinary example for other U.S. manufacturers," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "L'Oréal's investment in employee safety and health was the right thing to do, and I am certain it will provide great benefits in morale, productivity and competitiveness."
"We put the health and safety of our employees first and have achieved VPP compliance in all of our manufacturing facilities with their active collaboration," says Vince Serpico, senior vice president, corporate manufacturing, L'Oréal USA. "The certification of our Florence, Ky., facility is a further demonstration of our rigorous commitment to maintaining safe and productive work environments for our employees, our plants and the communities in which we have facilities."
In November 2003, L'Oréal was one of the first foreign-based international companies to commit to pursuing VPP status for all of its U.S.-based factories. At the time, only four of its plants had earned acceptance into VPP. Over the past six years, participation in VPP has helped L'Oréal USA reduce its rates of lost time and restricted duty accidents by more than 70 percent.
The company's Florence facility joins an elite group of more than 1,700 worksites in more than 270 industries nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs. The "Star" designation came after a thorough Kentucky OSHA on-site review of the plant's safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete review of the worksite.
Kentucky is one of 26 states that operate OSHA-approved state plans. The Kentucky Department of Labor is responsible for occupational safety and health enforcement and compliance assistance throughout the state.
OSHA's VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health performance. Requirements include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high quality worksite hazard analysis; prevention and control programs; 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 VPP. Companies in VPP achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their respective industries.
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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