National News Release: USDL 99 - 184
July 9, 1999
MEDIA CONTACT: Jo Anne Burgoyne (202) 693-1999
TECHNICAL INQUIRIES: Jennifer M. Paolillo (202) 693-2213
OSHA INDUCTS FIRST NURSING HOME INTO VPP PROGRAM
Citizens Memorial Health Care Facility, Bolivar, Missouri, today becomes the first United States skilled nursing care facility to earn membership in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which recognize excellence in safety and health program management.
During the July 9 ceremony at the facility, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Charles N. Jeffress presented the Merit certificate and flag to Citizens' officials.
"Citizens Memorial Health Care Facility proves that it is possible to deliver topnotch nursing care to residents and preserve the well-being of employees." Jeffress said, "Citizens is a model for other nursing homes that want to improve their safety and health programs."
The Merit program is the first step towards achieving OSHA's most prestigious safety and health recognition, the Star program. The Citizens Memorial Health Care Facility achieved Merit level by implementing a comprehensive safety and health program including management commitment and employee involvement. As a result, they have substantially reduced their injury rates.
VPP is OSHA's premier partnership program to recognize exemplary worksites with safety and health programs and to identify facilities that can serve as benchmarks for others. Nearly 500 worksites in more than 180 industries are VPP sites. Because these worksites have injury and illness rates that are nearly 60 percent below their industry averages, they save about $135 million annually in worker compensation costs.
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This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
Editor's Note: Information kits about the VPP application and approval process are available from OSHA's Division of Voluntary Programs, 202-693-2213, or from VPP Managers at OSHA regional offices. Another source of information about VPP is the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA), Falls Church, VA, a group of VPP members dedicated to the exchange of safety and health information. Their phone number is 703-761-1146.