The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize Tessenderlo Kerley Inc.'s Burley, Idaho, plant for continued excellence in employee safety and health when the agency renews the facility's participation in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the Star, or highest level, during a June 18 ceremony at the facility, located at 480 S. 260 W. in Burley.

"This facility has demonstrated that a safety and health program supported by management and embraced by the employees can dramatically reduce on-the-job injuries and illnesses," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.

The Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. manufacturing plant employs 13 workers who produce soil fumigant for distribution to agricultural product retailers. Production time is limited to six to eight months a year, depending on demand. Generally, production times are from mid-February to the end of April and from the first of June to end of November. During extended downtime periods, facility maintenance and improvements are completed. The facility has an injury and illness rate 100 percent below the national average for its industry.

The Star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs in February 2009, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA initially approved the facility's VPP star status in February 2006 and has extended it for five more years following the February 2009 review.

The Burley, Idaho, plant is one of more than 2,160 worksites in 270 industries nationwide that 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 (BLS) average for other companies in their respective industries.