The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has certified the Simmons Manufacturing Company LLC in Janesville, Wis., as a Star site in its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).

"Simmons Manufacturing has an excellent record in workplace safety and health," said Kimberly Stille, OSHA's area office director in Madison, Wis., who presented the company with a VPP Star flag and plaque. "This site's outstanding efforts include management commitment and continuous improvement, as well as exceptional employee involvement in safety and health programs."

Simmons Manufacturing Company produces more than 500 different models of mattresses at their 290,000-square-foot plant in Janesville while employing more than 230 workers.

The Star designation is the highest level of recognition that an employer can achieve in the VPP. The VPP is designed for worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health programs. More than 2,207 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.