OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
August 22, 2005
Contact: Elaine Fraser
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jonathan L. Snare today made three important announcements regarding OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). OSHA's Columbus, Ohio, Area Office became the first ever Department of Labor (DOL) VPP site; International Paper, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., became the third worksite approved as a "VPP Corporate" pilot program participant; and General Electric's (GE) Infrastructure - Security facility in Dublin, Ireland, became the first site accepted into Ireland's VPP Pilot Program.
"All three organizations are shining examples of excellence attained in safety and health in the workplace," said Snare. "OSHA's mission echoes that of these VPP participants, which is to strive for continuous improvement in occupational safety and health."
The VPP recognizes and promotes outstanding workplace safety and health management. OSHA's Columbus Area Office became the first site to earn VPP Star status under a DOL initiative for select field sites. The initiative establishes a model program to improve safety and health in the work environment through the cooperative efforts of management, the National Field Labor Locals union and employees.
International Paper (IP) joins the United States Postal Service and Georgia-Pacific Corporation as the first three organizations to be formally accepted in the VPP Corporate pilot program, which streamlines the application and onsite evaluation processes for corporations that have made a commitment to VPP. IP was accepted after a comprehensive program evaluation of the company's safety and health management systems at its headquarters. The evaluation included key aspects of IP's safety and health policies, programs and records, and interviews with senior managers and executives.
GE Infrastructure is the first site recognized under Ireland's VPP program, the first country to implement a program modeled on OSHA's highly successful VPP. The health and safety agencies in Ireland and Northern Ireland joined with OSHA to sign an agreement last year to collaborate on the development of a VPP pilot project for their governments. The joint initiative was a result of the 3rd U.S.-European Union joint conference on occupational safety and health in Lemnos, Greece, in 2003. The pilot started with eight companies, all of which have parent companies in the United States already participating in VPP.
Snare recognized the three sites during his remarks at the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association conference today in Dallas.
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 process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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