The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has approved Potlatch Forest Company's Consumer Products Lewiston in Lewiston, Idaho, for continued participation in its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the highest, or "Star," level. A ceremony to recognize the company's continued excellence in employee safety and health was held at a recent regional VPP Participants 13th annual conference in
"Maintaining the demanding standards required of the VPP for almost 10 years is very impressive," said Richard Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in
Consumer Products Lewiston has 592 on-site employees who produce facial tissue, bathroom tissue, household towels and napkins using three tissue machines that make paper from pulp. In addition, six people employed by three contractors perform heating, ventilating and air conditioning maintenance, cleaning and short distance transportation duties. Employees at the site are represented by United Steelworkers Locals 608 and 712, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 73.
OSHA has granted Consumer Products Lewiston, a VPP member since September 1997, a five-year "Star" renewal designation after an on-site review of its safety and health program, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite.
OSHA's VPP, an elite corps of more than 1,700 sites representing more than 270 industries nationwide, recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. To qualify for VPP status, a member site must meet or exceed all OSHA regulatory standards and submit to a review of its programs. Program participants typically achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below their respective industries' averages. Through the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at sites that have implemented strong safety and health systems.