The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the management and employees of Coors Brewing Company in Huntley, Mont., for special achievement in their employee safety and health program.

The facility, which processes, stores and distributes barley, earned membership in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) as a Star site, the highest level of recognition that OSHA awards. A VPP Star site meets or exceeds all the safety and health program elements for the VPP program, which far exceed minimum OSHA standards. An OSHA VPP flag and plaque were presented to the Coors Brewing team at the recognition ceremony recently held at the site.

"Coors Brewing is a true leader in employee safety and health, especially in the grain processing industry," said Brad Baptiste, OSHA regional VPP manager in Denver. "We are very fortunate to have high-quality workplaces such as Coors in our region. Achieving OSHA VPP Star status is a reflection of hard work, commitment and a sincere focus on workplace safety and health excellence."

Noteworthy aspects of the site's safety and health program include engineered fall protection systems for employees, accessing rolling stock and extremely effective dust control systems.

VPP offers employers a unique opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. The VPP program is open to deserving employers in any industry.

Requirements for application to VPP, which has more than 2,000 sites in the country, include a high degree of management support and employee involvement, a high-quality worksite hazard analysis, hazard prevention and control programs and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective and in operation for at least one year before applying to join the program.