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Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' Pearl River, N.Y., research and manufacturing facility today became the 2,000th worksite in the United States to be recognized in the elite Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. welcomed Wyeth's Pearl River location into the VPP as a Star site, the program's highest level of achievement, in a ceremony held at the facility.
"This is a significant milestone for Wyeth and OSHA as the Pearl River site becomes the 2,000th VPP worksite," said Foulke. "The VPP is a merit-based program that recognizes those exemplary worksites where employees and management work together continuously and effectively to minimize hazards, reduce injuries and illnesses, and enhance safety and health."
"This achievement is the result of a two-and-a-half year effort to make workplace safety the responsibility of every employee on site," said Mike McDermott, vice president, site operations for Wyeth in Pearl River. "Safety has always been a top priority in Pearl River, and when we applied for VPP, we set our sights on being the best in the industry. We worked aggressively to make improvements in our safety programs, communication and training, and we are delighted to be recognized as a VPP 'star' worksite."
The Pearl River facility, with more than 3,200 employees, is the eighth Wyeth worksite to achieve VPP Star status. Wyeth received this recognition after OSHA conducted a thorough onsite review of the facility, and determined its safety and health systems to be exemplary. Additionally, its injury and illness rates were well below the industry average.
VPP recognizes participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive and exemplary safety and health management systems. Through the VPP, employers and employees experience: significant decreases in fatalities, injuries and illnesses; reductions in associated costs, including lowered workers' compensation expenses; positive changes in company culture and attitudes toward safety and health; and injury and illness rates at least 50 percent lower than others in their respective industries. The VPP is open to deserving employers in any industry. VPP participants include private and public sector employers.