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OSHA News Release – Region 8
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 8 News Release: OSHA 06-68-DEN
Date: January 26, 2006
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
Phone: (303) 844-1302
HURON, S.D. -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the U.S. Postal Service facility in Huron, S.D., for excellence in their employee safety and health program at a ceremony Jan. 24.
The mail processing and distribution facility was designated a VPP "Star" site, the highest level of recognition that OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) offer. To qualify, a site must meet all the safety and health program elements for the VPP program, which far exceed minimum OSHA standards.
"The U.S. Postal Service has long been recognized as a world leader in the effective delivery of letters and parcels, but this award illustrates their commitment to world-class leadership in the area of employee safety and health programs," said Gregory J. Baxter, OSHA regional administrator in Denver. Brad Baptiste, OSHA regional VPP manager, presented a VPP flag and plaque to the U.S. Postal Service staff at the ceremony.
According to Baptiste, among the most noteworthy aspects of the site's program are its comprehensive employee training programs, safety captain system, housekeeping and emergency practice drills.
"The plant has an exceptional system in place to involve front-line employees in daily, pre-shift workplace safety inspections along with employees having significant involvement in every aspect of the site safety and health program," Baptiste said.
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs offer employers a unique opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing workplaces that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. The VPP program is open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP, which has approximately 1,400 sites in the country, include a high degree of management support and employee involvement, 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 applying to join the program.
For additional information on VPP in Region VIII contact Brad Baptiste, OSHA regional VPP manager, at (720) 264-6555 in Denver.
U.S. Labor Department (DOL) 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) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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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