OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Region 1 News Release: 08-5-BOS/BOS 2008-016
Wed., Jan. 16, 2008
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
ROWLEY, Mass. -- The U.S. Postal Service's Rowley Post Office has become the eighth postal facility in Massachusetts to earn membership in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The VPP recognizes worksites committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards and encourages cooperative relationships among labor, management, unions and government. The Rowley Post Office's "star" designation, the VPP's highest level, came after an OSHA team's on-site review of the facility's application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a walk-through of the worksite.
"Our review found the Rowley facility's safety and health management system to be consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants, with illness and injury rates well below the industry average," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator for New England. "Of particular note are the level and enthusiasm of employee involvement with safety and health. Most employees serve on a safety and health committee through which they participate in meetings to address important issues."
The Rowley facility employs 13 workers who are represented by the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the American Postal Workers Union. It now joins an elite corps of more than 1,920 worksites nationwide that have earned entry into the VPP. Other U.S. Postal Service VPP sites in Massachusetts are located in Acton, Cambridge, Lakeville, Springfield, Tewksbury, Wareham and Westboro.
Through the VPP, employers and employees have experienced significant decreases in fatalities, injuries and illnesses; associated cost reductions including lowered workers' compensation expenses; positive changes in company culture and attitudes toward safety and health; and average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their respective industries. The VPP is open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements 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. More information is available from the VPP manager in OSHA's Boston Regional Office at 617-565-9890.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 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 working men and women 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.
U.S. Department of Labor 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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