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OSHA News Release – Region 8
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 8 News Release: OSHA 05-143-DEN
Tuesday February 8, 2005
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302
For Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health
BISMARCK, N.D. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the Bobcat Company today at a ceremony highlighting achievement in their employee safety and health program. The equipment manufacturer was designated a "Merit" site in OSHA's prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) during a ceremony at the plant in Bismarck.
"VPP Merit sites meet safety and health program elements that far exceed minimum OSHA standards," said Greg Baxter, OSHA's regional administrator in Denver. "This award recognizes the hard work and long-term dedication of Bobcat's management and employees to maintaining an exemplary employee workplace safety and health program."
Noteworthy in Bobcat's program are its occupational health and ergonomic hazard management initiatives.
"The plant's ergonomic safety program ensures that employees are actively involved in workplace hazard identification and prevention," said Brad Baptiste, OSHA's VPP manager in Denver. "Employees work cooperatively with management to design solutions and implement changes in their workplace."
The Bobcat plant employs approximately 900 workers. Employees are represented by the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers (PACE). Employee involvement in safety and health is a cornerstone of all VPP programs, which are cooperative efforts among management, employees and OSHA.
VPP offers employers a unique opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry. There are about 1,200 VPP sites throughout the United States.
Requirements for application 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 element must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before applying to join the program.
For additional information on VPP in Region 8 call (303) 844-1600 (ext 317) in Denver.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. 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>. 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 at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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