Lynn, MA U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., recently welcomed the General Electric Aviation plant in Lynn into the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"The Star designation spotlights the continuing commitment by General Electric and its workers to effective safety and health management here at the Lynn plant," Foulke said, after presenting a VPP flag and plaque to company officials and workers in a ceremony held at the plant. "Our review of the plant's safety and health management programs found them to be consistent with the high quality of VPP participants, while its injury and illness rates are below the industry average."
The plant, which produces aircraft engines and parts, employs 3,900 workers represented by the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA), International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), and Independent Union of Plant Protection Employees (IUPPE).
The Lynn plant joins an elite corps of about 1,550 workplaces nationwide that have earned VPP recognition. The "Star" certification came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of the plant's safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
VPP offers employers an opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their 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. Each element must be effective, in place and in operation for at least a year before a company can apply to join the program.