RICHMOND, Va., Dec 01, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Commissioner C. Ray Davenport announced today that the International Paper Company - Richmond Container in Richmond, Virginia, has been re-approved as a STAR Worksite under Virginia's Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), the program's highest level of recognition. The facility was honored with their sixth Certificate of Recognition issued on 11/30/2020.
"The management and employees of this facility have exemplified true leadership in the area of occupational safety and health, and I commend them for embracing the cooperative spirit of VPP," said Commissioner Davenport. "I congratulate International Paper Company-Richmond Container on the occasion of their recertification as a VPP STAR Worksite."
International Paper Company's commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees is demonstrated by its very low injury and illness rates. The facility has a total three-year average for the TCIR (Total Case Incident Rate for injuries and illnesses) of 2.2 compared with a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national rate of 2.5 for this industry, representing a TCIR rate 12% lower than the national average for the industry. The DART rate (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred injury and illness cases) is 0.3, compared with the 0.7 national rate, which is 57% below the national average for the industry.
As part of the recognition for achieving STAR status under VPP, the worksite is entitled to fly the VPP "STAR Worksite" flag. The site is the only VPP STAR site in Virginia and currently one of 49 for International Paper Company in the United States. VPP includes two levels of participation, Merit and STAR, with STAR being the highest. Similar voluntary protection programs are conducted in other states across the country.
The process for reaching STAR status is very extensive. Since the inception of VPP in 1996, only 68 STAR worksites have been recognized, and only 37 Virginia companies currently retain the STAR/Merit designation. International Paper Company has set a standard of excellence that is second to none.
In Virginia VPP STAR, a cooperative relationship is formed between the VOSH program, the employer, and employees which include the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Participation in the program is voluntary and involves employees in all aspects of the company's safety and health management systems. Requirements include an application, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.
Businesses that participate in VPP substantially improve safety and health protections for employees. VPP STAR sites regularly report decreased bottom line costs associated with reduced injury and illness rates and improved productivity and employee morale. Reducing private sector employer costs associated with injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents enhances a company's economic viability and competitiveness, and increases available capital for reinvestment, expansion, and new hiring.
DOLI operates six recognition programs. These include:
- Virginia STAR is a cooperative relationship between the VOSH program, the employer, and the employees that include the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Participating employers agree to voluntarily participate in the program and to directly involve employees in all aspects of the company's safety and health management systems. Requirements include an extensive application process, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of those programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average for the employer's industry, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.
- Virginia BEST (Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training) is a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) that recognizes AGCVA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia.
- Virginia BUILT is a new strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia (ABCVA) and is designed to encourage and recognize ABC-VA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia. The Virginia BUILT program incorporates the ABC STEP program (Safety Training Evaluation Process) as the gateway to participation in Virginia BUILT.
- Virginia CHALLENGE is a formal three stage recognition program that dramatically improves safety and health at the worksite and prepares the company to apply for Virginia STAR recognition.
- VOSH-VADOC CHALLENGE is a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) to recognize safety and health excellence at correctional facilities around the Commonwealth. Three stages of participation in VADOC Challenge prepare a site to apply for Virginia STAR recognition. Virginia has the only two correctional facilities in the nation to have received VPP STAR status, Augusta and Lunenburg Correctional Centers. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office closest to you at www.doli.virginia.gov or contact Milford Stern, VPP Manager, (540) 562-3580, ext. 123, or Milford.Stern@doli.virginia.gov.
- The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes businesses of 250 employees or fewer and is administered by the DOLI Consultative Services Division. Contact Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, (804) 786-8707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOLI also offers free On-Site Consultation Services to help employers better understand and voluntarily comply with VOSH standards. Priority is given to high hazard workplaces with 250 or fewer employees and all services are offered to employers at no cost. These services helps employers identify and correct potential safety and health hazards by conducting walk-through surveys, abatement advice, on-site training, and program assistance to develop safety and health programs. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office at https://www.doli.virginia.gov/about/doli-offices-statewide/ or Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, (804) 786-8707, or email@example.com.
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program is financed in part by a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §23(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Virginia State Plan is funded by a grant of $4,332,400 federal funds, which constitutes 50% of the State Plan budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the State Plan budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.
The Virginia On-Site Consultation Cooperative Agreement program is financed in part by a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §21(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Virginia Consultation program is funded by a grant of $1,189,200 federal funds, which constitutes 90% of the Virginia Consultation program budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the Virginia Consultation budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.
News Source: Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Related link: https://www.doli.virginia.gov/
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