OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA News Release – Region 1
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 1 News Release: 05-2207-BOS/ BOS 2005-347
Monday, December 12, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Solutia Inc.'s Indian Orchard Plant in Springfield, Mass., has been recertified for an additional five-year 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 Solutia's continuing commitment to effective safety and health management at this site," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Our review of the plant's safety and health management programs found they continue to be consistent with the high quality of VPP programs."
The manufacturer of plastic sheeting, which employs 560 workers at the Indian Orchard plant, continues as part of an elite corps of about 1,370 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition. The "Star" recertification came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. The Indian Orchard plant was first certified as a "Star" site in February 1997 and recertified in September 2000.
"A particular area of excellence is Solutia's use of trend analysis to effectively target and reduce employee injuries," said Kent. "In 2003, for example, the plant saw an increase in strain and sprain injuries. In response, a team of wage and salary employees was created. They developed training that helped workers recognize and prevent these injuries and achieve a 17 percent decrease in strains and sprains from 2003 to 2004."
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.
For more information, contact OSHA's VPP manager in Boston at (617) 565-9890.
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 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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