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The Ahlstrom manufacturing plant in Windsor Locks, Conn., has earned entry into the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The VPP recognizes companies committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.
The plant, which employs 506 workers, makes products for the medical, food and consumer wipes markets. In achieving "Merit" status, it joins an elite corps of about 1,370 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition.
The "Merit" designation comes after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's application and its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
"Our review of this plant's safety and health management programs found them consistent with the high quality of VPP programs," said Marthe Kent, OSHA's New England regional administrator. "It now has the opportunity to go further and seek "Star" status, the VPP's highest designation."
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs recognize worksites where comprehensive safety and health programs have been incorporated successfully into their management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP 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.