U.S. Navy maintenance facility honored by OSHA

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize the U.S. Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Pacific Northwest in Silverdale, Wash., for excellence in employee safety and health when the agency welcomes the facility into its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the Star, or highest, level. A ceremony will be held January 15 at 2 p.m. PST at the Headquarters Building, Building 7000 at the base.

The major work at the facility is the execution of the TRIDENT class maintenance plan on west coast Strategic Ballistic Missile, Nuclear (SSBN) submarines and the maintenance, repair and alteration of other visiting U.S. Navy nuclear submarines and surface craft.

At the evaluation in July 2008, there were 862 civilian employees, 425 military and 40 contractor personnel working on site. The contractors provide computer systems upgrade and installation, provide training on new industrial equipment, and perform work on ships, installing system alterations and improvements. Employees at the site are represented by the Bremerton Metal Trades Council (BMTC) and International Federation of Professional and Technical, Engineers (IFPTE).

"Labor and management have used the VPP model to implement an effective safety and health management system at the Intermediate Maintenance Facility. As a result, employees have a safer place to work each day," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.

The facility joins an elite corps of more than 2,160 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA has approved the facility's VPP star status for three years.

Employers that have been accepted into the VPP represent more than 270 industries. 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.

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