Delta Air Lines has become the first major commercial airline to apply for and receive Merit status under OSHA''s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
In July 1999, Delta''s Engine, Component and Ground Support Equipment Maintenance departments began an initial self assessment in order to achieve this status. Current safety and health processes were checked against the VPP criteria.
Working in conjunction with OSHA, a Delta implementation team established a plan to meet the program''s standards, and submitted its application on April 26, 2000.
During a mid-May 200 site visit, OSHA''s assessment team verified that Delta''s Engine Component and Ground Support Equipment Maintenance departments had met the VPP entry level standards.
OSHA recently recognized Delta for achieving Merit status by presenting the company with the Merit status flag and certificate of completion.
Davis Layne, OSHA''s acting administrator, presented the flag.
"Delta''s Technical Operations Division has shown that it can deliver topnotch maintenance on a large fleet of commercial aircraft while preserving the well-being of its employees," said Layne. "Technical Operations is a model for others who want to improve their safety and health programs."
Delta''s Technical Operations Division, staffed by more than 11,700 aviation maintenance professionals around the world, provides maintenance and engineering support services for Delta''s fleet of nearly 600 aircraft and a number of aviation industry customers.
Delta, which was judged against qualifying standards, will be responsible for continuing to manage its current VPP objectives.
Once those objectives are met, the company can then be granted Star status, pending a OSHA review.
Star status is the highest level of the VPP initiative.
OSHA began the VPP program in 1982 as a way to enhance the safety performance standard of organizations and people by recognizing and promoting effective safety and health management in the workplace.
Today, organization such as General Electric, Allied Signal, Lucent Technologies, Texaco, Dow, IBM and Midas represent more than 600 business units involved in the VPP program.
by Virginia Sutcliffe