Northrop Grumman Corporation Shipbuilding's facility in Gulfport, Miss., has been recognized for exemplary shipyard safety and received "Star" status in the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-sponsored Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

OSHA representatives presented the official VPP Star status certification and flags to management and shipbuilders working at the Gulfport facility on July 29.

"The success we celebrate today is the result of our shipbuilders taking personal ownership and accountability for safety," said Irwin F. Edenzon, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast. "Our shipbuilders are committed to continuously increasing their focus on safety, adhering to all safety rules and procedures, and increasing safety awareness for themselves and for their fellow shipbuilders."

OSHA's VPP acceptance process requires a strong working relationship with management and labor, and proven safety excellence that goes beyond mere compliance with OSHA standards. The VPP recognizes those sites that implement a comprehensive safety and health management system resulting in lower injuries.

Clyde Payne, OSHA area director for Mississippi, commended the "culture of safety and health" that made the VPP star designation possible.

"It's great to see such a positive environment where everyone works together cooperatively for safety and health," said Payne. "This is the most prestigious level of safety and health recognition worldwide. Star status recognizes that the injury and illness rates are below industry average. It is a magnificent accomplishment. Now the shipbuilders must continue to move forward to help others in the community and to set an example for safety and health."

To apply for VPP status, a company has to achieve reduced injury/illness rates as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and apply for certification. OSHA then conducts an on-site comprehensive assessment of the company's programs, interviewing employees and management to confirm that all aspects of the VPP requirements have been fully implemented. Sites that make the grade must submit annual self-evaluations and undergo periodic onsite re-evaluations to remain in the program.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. 

 

OSHA Voluntary Protection Program
  Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Gulfport facility environmental health and safety (EH&S) action team members pose with company leaders to celebrate the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) upgrading the facility to Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status. Showing off the VPP Star status flag are (l-r) Kevin Amis, vice president of Operations; Jay Jenkins, Gulfport facility director; Clyde Payne, OSHA Mississippi area director, Trudy Mayfield, EH&S analyst; Valerie Leggins, composite fiberglass fitter workleaderman; Thurman Necaise, composite fiberglass fitter; Takeya Batson, composite fiberglass mechanic; James Brown, composite fiberglass mechanic; Kimble Otis, electrical layout fitter; Bob Krebs, EH&S analyst; and Irwin F. Edenzon, vice president and general manager, NGSB-GC. Kneeling are (l-r) Ronald McDonald, painter workleaderman; and Justin Ross, composite fiberglass fitter.