The Sherwin-Williams Co.'s Chicago Emulsion Plant was recently accepted into OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) as a "Star" site.
The VPP program recognizes facilities in the United States that have designed and implemented outstanding health and safety practices.
The Chicago Emulsion Plant is the first U.S. coatings manufacturer to achieve this status.
"We thank our employees for their dedication and tireless commitment to safety," said John G. Breen, chairman of The Sherwin-Williams Co.
It is only through their efforts that our facility has achieved this performance that puts us in the same safety category with other world-class companies."
To be admitted into the VPP, companies must demonstrate excellence in areas such as management commitment and planning, workplace analysis, hazard tracking, and training.
After an on-site evaluation by an OSHA team, the Sherwin-WilliamsChicago Emulsion Plant was approved for VPP "Star" status, signifying that the plant had met all requirements of VPP's highest designation.
"OSHA is particularly proud of this site," said C. Sheila Misner, VPP manager with OSHA. "There are approximately 1,500 paint manufacturing facilities in the United States today. This is the first site in this type of industry to have achieved VPP participation in the country. The support of the union and management leadership was essential for this achievement. Both sides have shown that together, they can accomplish excellence in safety."
To attain this status, Dennis Stevens, facility manager of the Chicago Emulsion Plant, said the plant had to develop new, innovative safety processes through employee involvement.
"Under the leadership of Jim Jones, our safety manager, a self-empowered safety committee was formed. These employees worked together as a team and were instrumental in helping us fine tune our safety efforts in this plant," said Stevens.
Overall, less than 600 companies have been able to obtain acceptance into the VPP Program out of the more than 6 million work sites in the United States.
For more information about OSHA's VPP Program, go to the OSHA Web Site at www.osha.gov/ oshprogs/vpp