Pace Industries Inc. in Harrison, Ark., has earned membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A recognition ceremony was held at its 62/65 Bypass facility in Harrison.

"Pace has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Frank Strasheim in Dallas. "Their outstanding efforts exemplify the value of working with OSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses."

Pace Industries, owned by Leggett & Platt Aluminum Group, manufactures thin-walled aluminum die cast products. The Harrison facility employs about 540 workers. The company 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. Corporate headquarters are in Carthage, Mo.

In qualifying for "Star" status, the company verified that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond what's 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.

The Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and promote effective workplace safety and health management. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industry's average rates. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. The role of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.