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OSHA News Release – Region 5
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 5 News Release 04-2326-chi
Date: Nov. 10, 2004
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: (312) 353-6976
"Star" Voluntary Protection Program
MADISON, Wis. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized Jacobsen, A Textron Company, Johnson Creek, Wis., as one of the most effective employers in the nation in protecting workers and welcomed the plant into "Star" status in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
"This facility has operated at a safety rate superior to the national average for injury and illness incidence in similar workplaces," said OSHA Area Director Kim Stille, Madison, Wis. "We believe that the cooperation between management and employees at this site is key to their success and we hope the entire industry will seek to emulate their effort."
The Johnson Creek operation manufactures turf maintenance equipment, personnel and burden carriers for the golf course, professional lawn care, sports field and general grounds maintenance markets under various brand names. Jacobsen has a lost workday injury rate that is half the industry average.
The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. In the program, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a worksite that has implemented strong safety and health systems. Star participants, who meet all VPP requirements, are at the top of the program's recognition ladder. OSHA will not target a VPP-approved worksite for regularly programmed inspections, although the site must continue to abide by all OSHA safety and health standards, and the agency will respond to workers' complaints and serious accidents.
According to Stille, VPP participating-businesses experience fewer employee injuries and illnesses, reduced workers' compensation costs, improved productivity, improved employee morale, and recognition in the community. In addition, safety and health management systems at these sites are further improved over time through the internal and external reviews that are part of the program's ongoing requirements.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-3911.
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