Firestone Polymers LLC's Lake Charles, La., facility has earned membership in the prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A recognition ceremony was held at the company's Lake Charles facility on 1801 Highway 108 East.

"Firestone Polymers has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA regional administrator Frank Strasheim in Dallas. "Their outstanding efforts include achieving an injury and illness rate that is 53 percent below the national average for their industry."

Firestone Polymers LLC's Lake Charles facility, which operates a polymerization process that produces 420 million pounds of synthetic rubber annually, employs some 300 workers. About 90 are contract workers. The company is owned by Bridgestone Americas Holding, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

The Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and promote effective workplace safety and health management. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. Approximately 1,600 work sites representing more than 50 industries nationwide participate in the program.