OSHA VPP Challenge Pilot Program Participant First to Earn Star Status

C.R. Meyer, a Wisconsin general contractor, is the first company to achieve the prestigious Star status from participation in the Voluntary Protection Program'ss (VPP) OSHA Challenge Pilot. Michael G. Connors, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago, resented the award Sept. 15 during a ceremony at the company's Oshkosh, Wis. headquarters.

OSHA's VPP recognizes the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health. The VPP Challenge Pilot was designed to help companies take a more proactive approach to occupational safety and health by providing a detailed roadmap that guides them on how to improve their safety and health management systems and meet VPP recognition criteria. C.R. Meyer joined the Challenge Pilot in November 2004 and graduated in August 2005.

"We congratulate C.R. Meyer on being the first workplace from the Challenge Pilot to earn acceptance into the VPP 'Star' family," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "Their outstanding efforts have included management commitment to safety and health and employee involvement in safety and health programs."

Added C.R. Meyer's Director of Risk Management Fred R. Rideout, CSP, ARM: "We are proud of this noteworthy achievement, and we understand the real challenge is before us. We look forward to steady, continued improvement in our safety and health management system as we grow our program nationally."

C.R. Meyer employs nearly 1,000 people and is one of the leading industrial and commercial general contractors in the Midwest. It now joins a select group of about 1,550 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. VPP companies achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below other companies in their industry.

In qualifying for Star status, C.R. Meyer verified that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond those required under OSHA standards with extensive involvement by both management and employees. Its written safety and health management system effectively addresses worksite hazards by identifying and tracking them to ensure their correction and control. Its safety and health training programs ensure that employees understand occupational hazards and how to control them.

Requirements for application to VPP include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; high quality worksite hazard analysis protocols; prevention and control programs; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.

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