• Information Date
  • Presented To
    VPP "Star" Ceremony
  • Speaker(s)
  • Status
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

Remarks Prepared for delivery by
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
Oahu, Hawaii
9 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2007

It is with great pride and joy that OSHA is here today to honor the entire Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard population - management, union leaders, and the working men and women of this facility.

Through hard work, compassion for your fellow employees, team spirit and commitment to excellence, Pearl Harbor has achieved "Star" status in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs.

VPP Star status is OSHA's highest level of recognition for safety and health excellence. You have reached this elite level - the best of the best - by realizing that the best way to protect each other on the job is by preventing injuries and illnesses.

In recommending Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for VPP Star, the 10-person OSHA site review team noted a list of praiseworthy efforts, including your VPP Passport Program and your Ergonomics "Flex and Stretch" Program.

You set high goals, you took specific, concrete steps to achieve them, and you persevered over a long and arduous process.

A hallmark of VPP is the rate of participant injuries and illnesses, which are significantly lower than the national average for their industries. Here at Pearl Harbor, the naval shipyard's rate for injuries and illnesses has reached a remarkable 44 percent below the national shipbuilding and repair industry's rate.

Also noteworthy are the results you have achieved - reduced costs, greater employee morale, and higher productivity - all of which contribute to improved operational readiness and sustainability.

In the most human terms, this means that you are looking out for each other to be sure everyone at work stays safe and healthy. Look around you for a moment. Everyone who works here at this shipyard is somebody's parent or child, brother or sister, or cherished friend.

This morning, I also want to congratulate the Navy - and particularly its Shipyard division - for working with OSHA and taking a strong leadership position on workplace safety and health. Today Pearl Harbor becomes the fourth naval shipyard and the tenth Department of Defense worksite in the nation to earn a VPP Star. Through our cooperative efforts, we believe our new relationship will result in Navy-wide improvements in safety and health management and a reduction in injuries.

Moreover, this cooperative relationship can extend beyond Pearl and the Navy. When you achieve VPP status, you become a model of excellence, spurring others to do better. One of the ways this happens is by sharing your knowledge through outreach, mentoring, and service as a Special Government Employee (SGE).

By sharing your expertise and serving as an SGE, you help bring more worksites into VPP. In doing so, you help save employees' lives and make American industries more productive and competitive

Through your participation as an SGE, Pearl and the Navy will benefit too: SGEs learn best practices from others through their service with OSHA, and they bring these best practices back to their own worksites. For all these reasons, I hope many of you here today will take the next step and become a Special Government Employee.

So, welcome to the ranks of the VPP! Captain Frank Camelio set a goal of achieving the VPP Star status during the first year of his tenure in 2004. Today, as he turns over his command to Captain Greg Thomas, he can look out over this shining assembly and know that everyone has worked together to reach a major achievement.

Captain Camelio and the men and women of Pearl Harbor: You reached for the stars, and today you have one - a VPP Star - to call your own! Congratulations and well done!

It is therefore my great pleasure at this time to present to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard this framed certificate and VPP flag with my deepest gratitude on behalf of OSHA and the United States Department of Labor.

See also the June 22 News Release: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard recognized by U.S. Labor Department's OSHA as 'star' in workplace safety and health.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.