GE Silicones Shines with OSHA Star Rating

GE Silicones' Waterford, N.Y., facility is recognized for its outstanding occupational safety and health program.

There''s a new star in New York.

GE Silicones'' Waterford, N.Y., site has been awarded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration''s (OSHA) highest recognition for outstanding safety and health management, the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status.

Of the more than 6.5 million worksites in the United States, the GE Silicones Waterford plant is one of only 800 sites to be recognized as an OSHA VPP site and one of 58 other General Electric sites in the United States to be designated as VPP Star.

"This is an important recognition for our company," said Gary Pritchard, GE Silicones'' Americas operations manager. "Our employees are focused on keeping a ''safety-first'' mind-set. Everyone on site, at every level, contributed to the success of this program and deserves credit for a job well done."

Through the efforts of the Waterford employees, GE Silicones'' Recordable Injury and Illness Rate, an OSHA calculation that measures the number of site injuries in comparison to the total number of employee hours worked, has dropped below the chemical industry average to 1.8 from 3.1 in 1996.

Management at GE Silicones has made a commitment to environmental health and safety, investing more than $30 million in improvement projects over the past five years. These achievements, in addition to expanding the self-inspection process and increasing the consistency of safety communications, qualified the plant for VPP Star recognition.

The GE Silicones Waterford plant received VPP Merit Status, a step in the process towards VPP Star, in 1999.

GE Silicones, a $1.4 billion operating division of GE Specialty Materials, is a global manufacturer of silicone products with its headquarters in Waterford, NY. It has 3,300 employees and manufactures products for more than 4,000 applications. Silicones made by GE are used in most major markets, including consumer retail, building and construction, health care, electrical/electronics, automotive, aviation, cosmetics, specialty coatings, appliance and textiles.

by Sandy Smith

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