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Region 1 News Release: 09-436-BOS/BOS 2009-120
Tues., April 28, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA invites Maine employers to learn about successful program to reduce injuries and enhance workplace safety
April 29 meeting in Bangor will highlight Voluntary Protection Programs

BANGOR, Maine - Employers in Maine are invited to attend a free April 29 meeting in Bangor to learn about the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Eighteen Maine worksites currently participate in the VPP, a merit-based program that recognizes worksites where employers and employees work together to go beyond OSHA standards to systematically evaluate, identify and eliminate workplace hazards on a continual basis. VPP participants experience injury and illness rates at least 50 percent lower than their industry averages, reduced compensation costs and positive changes in companies' safety and health culture.

"The VPP is an exceptional safety and health opportunity that we want more Maine companies to know about and participate in," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's regional administrator in Boston. "The program demands time and commitment from all concerned, but its rewards are considerable as attendees will learn from two Maine companies that are eagerly and successfully participating in the VPP."

The meeting will be held at GE Energy, 534 Griffin Road, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. EDT. Speakers will include OSHA's VPP manager for New England, the founder of the New England OSHA Training Institute Education Center and representatives from VPP participants GE Energy and L.L.Bean. They will discuss the purpose and background of the VPP, detail how it works and describe its positive impact on their workplaces.

Advance registration is requested. To register and obtain more information, call Lynnda Ignacio at 617-565-3075 or Diane Malachowski at 800-449-6742.

More than 2,160 worksites in more than 270 industries nationwide - including 36 worksites in northern New England - currently participate in the VPP. Additional 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, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their s. OSHA's role is to promote 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.

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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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