OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 2 News Release: 05-1751-NEW/ BOS 2005-305
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Wheelabrator Westchester L.P.'s Peekskill waste to energy facility has earned membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"This award spotlights Wheelabrator's outstanding job of safety and health management at this site," said Patricia K. Clark, OSHA's regional administrator, who presented a VPP flag and plaque to the company in a recent ceremony.
The Peekskill facility, which burns household trash and generates electricity from the steam produced, employs about 64 workers. It now joins an elite corps of about 1,300 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition.
"Our review of this facility's safety and health management programs found them to be consistent with the high quality of VPP programs," said Clark. "In addition, Wheelabrator Westchester has excelled in industrial hygiene, preventive maintenance, safety signage and training."
The Peekskill facility uses comprehensive industrial hygiene surveys and biological monitoring to identify and reduce employees' exposures to lead and cadmium and an automated system for scheduling preventive maintenance and tracking safety work orders. It has the ability to immediately create custom-made safety signage and has developed a proactive relationship with the local fire department that includes confined space and fire extinguisher training.
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs offer employers an opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP 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 the program.
Additional information is available from the VPP manager at the OSHA regional office in New York City at (212) 337-2360.
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 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. Call (202) 693-7773 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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