The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designated GE Energy-Slater Membrane, Slater, Mo., as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star site, the agency's highest recognition for meeting or exceeding workplace safety and health standards.

The company, which has more than 50 employees, manufactures custom expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membranes used in air pollution control products.

"GE Energy-Slater Membrane earned this recognition by voluntarily committing itself to building a workplace culture that values safety," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City. "Earning VPP recognition is no easy feat. It requires a bottom-up focus on safety and health, and an overall approach of workers looking out for their fellow workers."

More than 2,160 worksites nationwide, representing more than 270 industries, have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; 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 VPP.

Companies in the VPP achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.