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Region 1 News Release: 09-148-BOS/BOS 2009-204
Wed., July 8, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

Agawam, Mass., energy-from-waste plant enters Voluntary Protection Programs of U.S. Labor Department's OSHA

AGAWAM, Mass. - The Covanta Springfield energy-from-waste plant, in Agawam is the seventh Covanta worksite in New England to earn entry into the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The Agawam site was admitted for three years of participation at the star level, the VPP's highest level of achievement. This welcome followed an OSHA team's three-day onsite review - which included an examination of the facility's safety and health management system, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the plant - that found its safety and health programs consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants.

"The star designation represents the joint commitment of Covanta Springfield and its 36 employees at the Agawam plant to systematically evaluate, identify and eliminate potential workplace hazards," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator.

Covanta Springfield now joins more than 2160 worksites nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Employers accepted into VPP represent more than 270 industries. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; 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 VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries. Other Covanta VPP sites in New England are located in Haverhill and Rochester, Mass., and in Bristol, Hartford, Preston and Wallingford, Conn.

More information is available from the VPP manager in OSHA's Boston Regional Office at 617-565-9890 or online at www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/index.html.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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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 (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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