Virginia plant earns OSHA VPP Star designation

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

Manchester Tank and Equipment Company, a division of McWane Inc. in Petersburg, Va., announced December 7 that it has been recognized as a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), the state agency responsible for administering and ensuring compliance with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration program (OSHA). 


The Voluntary Protection Program promotes effective worksite-based safety and health by establishing cooperative relationships at workplaces and implementing a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is Virginia DOLI’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health performance and program implementation.


"The VPP Star flag is awarded only to facilities which demonstrate true excellence in their safety and heath program – something very few companies can ever achieve," said Barbara Wisniewski, McWane's assistant vice president of health and safety. "It indicates a true commitment to safety and health by everyone from top management down to the newest hourly worker, all of whom work together in order to make their workplace as safe as it can possibly be."


Sites that attempt the VPP designation first create a VPP committee consisting of employees from all levels of the organization. Next, committee members utilize their training in OSHA regulations to watch for ways to make their facilities safer. Each site must also document and organize its health and safety plans and complete an application about its programs. Finally, an OSHA team makes an on-site visit to evaluate the worksite, interview employees, review safety and health programs, and ultimately, make the decision of whether the facility is qualified as a VPP site.


The Manchester Tank and Equipment facility underwent a comprehensive, three-day review by the Virginia DOLI VPP audit team, who unanimously recommended the plant as a Star Site to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. The Petersburg plant is the first Manchester Tank and Equipment plant to achieve this recognition. In addition, only one-half percent of businesses eligible for this program in Virginia have been recognized as a VPP Star Site.


“We are honored to be selected as a VPP Star Site and proud of the tremendous effort of all individuals involved,” said Rick Semeraro, plant manager of Manchester Tank & Equipment Company. “The essence of the VPP is that the entire facility works together and the VPP designation demonstrates the remarkable success and the ongoing accomplishments made by everyone at Manchester Tank and Equipment throughout the years.”


VPP offers members a variety of benefits, including higher employee morale, lower turnover rates, fewer injuries, improved public relations, better cooperation between salary and wage workers, and improved safety performance.

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