The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has certified Chevron Energy Solutions Fort Detrick Central Utility Plant in Fort Detrick, Md., as a "Star" site, the highest honor in its Voluntary Protection Programs.

OSHA VPP program officer Teresa Penn attended the ceremony held yesterday at the plant. "Chevron Energy Solutions' commitment to a safe and healthful work environment for employees makes it most deserving of this honor," said Penn.

The company's utility plant at Fort Detrick supplies steam, chilled water, conditioned electric power and back-up electrical power to the National Interagency Biodefense Campus.

The Voluntary Protection Programs recognize employers and workers in private industry and federal agencies that have implemented effective safety and health management systems, and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment and worker involvement. To participate, an employer must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous on-site evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status. For information on VPP and other cooperative programs, visit: http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/index_programs.html.