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Published:January 18th, 2007 07:52 EST
Acton, Mass., Post Office Earns Prestigious Workplace Safety and Health Star

Acton, Mass., Post Office Earns Prestigious Workplace Safety and Health Star

By SOP newswire

ACTON, Mass. -- The U.S. Postal Service's Acton Post Office has become the seventh postal facility in Massachusetts to earn membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department'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 between labor, management, unions and government. The Acton Post Office's "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a walk-through of the worksite. It now joins an elite corps of 1,600 worksites nationwide that have earned entry into the VPP.

"Employees and management must be commended for their effective joint approach to managing safety and health at the Acton facility," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "Not only is its safety and health management system consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants, the facility's illness and injury rates remain well below the industry average."

The Acton facility employs 52 employees, represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). Its areas of excellence include training for safety and health committee members; daily safety walk-throughs; providing employees with cameras to document hazards and use of the "Stop" method to prevent injuries.

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 industry.

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. For more information, contact OSHA's regional VPP manager 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.

Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

Source:OSHA