The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the Raytheon Company's facility in Aurora, Colo., for exemplary achievement in workplace safety and health.

The software-development site was designated a "Star" site, the highest level of recognition that OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) offer. A VPP Star site maintains employee injury and illness rates below the national average for their industry and meets all the safety and health program elements for the VPP, which far exceed minimum OSHA standards.

"This award recognizes Raytheon's effort to maintain a sustained level of high performance in its employee safety and health program," said John Hermanson, OSHA deputy regional administrator in Denver. "Receiving the VPP Star award is a tremendous accomplishment and illustrates this company's commitment to continuous improvement and its dedication to excellence."

Hermanson and Bill Wright, the OSHA alliance and partnership coordinator in Denver, presented the VPP award to plant representatives at a ceremony on August 30 at the Raytheon Aurora campus. Raytheon's safety and health program has many aspects considered best practices, according to Wright.

"The site has tremendous employee involvement systems and a world-class health and wellness program for employees," Wright noted.

VPP offers employers a unique opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. The VPP program is open to deserving employers in any industry.

Requirements for application to the VPP, which has approximately 1,550 sites in the country, include demonstrating a high degree of management support and employee involvement, a high-quality work-site hazard analysis, effective hazard prevention and control programs, and a comprehensive safety and health training program for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before applying to join the program.

For additional information on VPP, contact Brad Baptiste, OSHA VPP manager, at 720-264-6555.