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Region 10 News Release: 09-445-SEA (09-94)
June 17, 2009
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Phone: 206-553-7620

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA renews safety and health star for U.S. Postal Service's Boise Processing & Distribution Center

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize the U.S. Postal Service's Boise, Idaho, processing and distribution center for continued excellence in employee safety and health when the agency renews the facility's participation in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level. The ceremony is scheduled for June 19, 10 a.m. MDT, at the facility on 2201 Cole Road in Boise.

"The U.S. Postal Service's Boise processing and distribution center continues to demonstrate excellence in effective safety and health management," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle. "Management and labor working together has resulted in an injury and illness rate that is 65 percent below the national average for this industry."

The Boise processing and distribution center employs about 354 workers, with union members represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers. Work at the facility consists of receiving, sorting and distribution of domestic and foreign mail for 241 post offices, stations and facilities in Idaho. Operations housed in the facility include customer service operations with a computerized forwarding system unit, business mail entry unit and a stamp distribution unit. The office also provides maintenance and custodial support to the processing and distribution center, and most surrounding stations and branches.

The star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs in September 2008, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA initially approved the facility's VPP star status in September 2005 and has extended it for five more years following the September 2008 review.

The Boise facility is one of more than 2,160 worksites in 270 industries nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. 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.

OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 38 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2007) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA will continue to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. 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 http://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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