Baxter Healthcare Corp.'s Mountain Home, Ark., manufacturing facility is a Star worksite, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The site was added to OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), a partnership program designed to recognize worksites with exemplary safety and health programs, and to identify facilities that can serve as benchmarks for others.
"This distinction is a testament to Baxter team members, not only here in Mountain Home, but around the world," said Vick Crawley, general manager of Baxter's Mountain Home facility. "Health and safety is priority number one at all Baxter facilities. VPP is a vital program which we are proud to be a part of and we look forward to continuing the health and safety standards we have set here."
Bill Klingbeil, OSHA's regional VPP manager, said the management at Baxter's Mountain Home facility "demonstrated a commitment to protecting employees above and beyond what others in the industry are willing to do. Baxter recognizes the value of keeping their employees safe on the job. Because they care about their employees, it ultimately increases profits and makes the facility more productive."
Klingbeil also said that the safety procedures and processes in place at Baxter help put the facility 50 percent under the number of safety incidents reported annually in its industry. "They have a superior system for tracking, trending and analyzing safety data from the site to proactively prevent injuries and illnesses," he added.
The VPP is designed to recognize effective safety and health management by establishing a cooperative relationship between management, labor and OSHA. Participants in the VPP have demonstrated that an investment in the OSHA program is an effective allocation of resources. VPP sites experience fewer employee injuries and illnesses, reduced workers' compensation costs, improved productivity, improved employee morale, and recognition in the community. In addition, existing programs are improved through the internal and external reviews that are part of the VPP application process.
Baxter's Mountain Home facility, located in North Central Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains, opened in 1964 with 30 team members manufacturing medical devices in a 200,000 square-foot manufacturing and warehouse space. Today, the facility is operated by more than 1,600 team members in a 600,000 square-foot manufacturing, laboratory, warehouse, maintenance and office space.
The facility has one several quality awards, and joins Baxter's McGaw Park, Ill. facility as an OSHA VPP Star site. The McGaw Park facility has been a Star site for the past four years.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])