The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. facility in Nampa, Idaho, for continued excellence in worker health and safety. A ceremony will be held at the facility on May 11 to recognize its achieving the highest level in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), the VPP Star.

"Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. has clearly demonstrated that, with management and employee collaboration, it is possible to implement a systematic approach to safety that gets the desired results - fewer workplace injuries," said Richard Terrill, OSHA regional administrator. "Their efforts have resulted in no lost time occupational injuries or illnesses at the facility for the last three years."

The facility produces, packages and distributes alfalfa seed throughout the United States and Canada. The facility joins an elite corps of approximately 1,400 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. The "Star" designation came after an OSHA on-site review of its safety and health programs, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.

OSHA's VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. In the program, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a worksite that has implemented strong safety and health systems.

To qualify for VPP status, sites must meet or exceed all OSHA regulatory standards and submit to an OSHA review of their programs. Companies that have been accepted into the VPP represent more than 280 industries. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industry's average.