Hamilton Sundstrand's Windsor Locks facility has earned membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"Our review of Hamilton Sundstrand's safety and health management programs at this site found them consistent with the high quality expected of VPP participants, with injury and illness rates well below industry averages," said K. Frank Gravitt, OSHA's New England deputy regional administrator, who presented a VPP flag to the company in a ceremony held today.
Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., employs 4.000 workers in Connecticut in the design and manufacture of aircraft management systems, components and equipment. It now joins an elite corps of 1,400 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The "Star" designation came after an OSHA team's thorough on-site review of its application and safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
In qualifying for "Star" status, the company verified that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond those required under OSHA standards with extensive involvement by both management and workers. 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 and contractors understand occupational hazards and how to control them.
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs offer employers an opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. VPP companies achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. The VPP programs are open to deserving employers in any industry.
Requirements for application to VPP include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite hazard analysis; prevention and control programs, and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the program.