The Curtis Bay, Md., Grace Davison Technical Center of W.R. Grace & Company has earned membership in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) at the "Star", or highest level.

 

The Voluntary Protection Program is the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) official recognition of exemplary occupational safety and health. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their respective industries. Less than 1 percent of the eight million work sites in the United States share this distinction.

 

The Commissioner of Labor and Industry for the State of Maryland notified the company of its selection on November 26, 2008. Grace is the 11th employer in the state to receive the certification.

 

The Curtis Bay Technical Center is staffed by 52 people and includes 13 labs, 40 offices, a pilot plant development area and warehouse. At this location, employees help to bridge the gap between research and manufacturing. They develop the processes and designs that enable new and next-generation products to move out of the lab and be produced in large-scale at the company's manufacturing plants. They also interact directly with customers to answer questions and lend technical expertise. The center is the third Grace location to earn the VPP distinction, joining manufacturing plants in Edison, New Jersey in 2007 and Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2005 that secured VPP status.

 

“The process to earn VPP certification began nearly two years ago and involved all employees at the Technical Center and colleagues at several other locations,” said Dan O’Connell, director of development for Grace Davison. “I want to thank everyone that supported the site. We are proud to join an elite list of companies in Maryland that have earned this distinction and look forward to helping additional sites that decide to pursue the certification.”

 

Grace has been a member of the Maryland business community since 1832 through the Grace Davison operating segment. In addition to the Technical Center, Grace operates a research facility, warehouse, analytical services center, manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters in Maryland. Collectively, about 1,100 employees work in the state. Earlier this year, the company was recognized with awards from the United Way, American Heart Association and Department of Defense for community stewardship, workplace fitness, worksite innovation and exceptional support to employees who are National Guard and Reserve members. Grace has also been named one of the largest employers in Central Maryland by the Baltimore Business Journal (based on headcount) and the Washington, D.C., area by the Washington Post (based on revenues.)

 

Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts and other products to petroleum refiners; catalysts for the manufacture of plastics; silica-based engineered and specialty materials for a wide-range of industrial applications; sealants and coatings for food and beverage packaging, and specialty chemicals, additives and building materials for commercial and residential construction. With annual sales of more than $3.1 billion, Grace has about 6,400 employees and operations in more than 40 countries.