The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on June 22 welcomed Union Carbide Corporation’s Seadrift Operations into the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the highest, or "Star," level during a ceremony held at the company facility in Seadrift, Texas.

"Union Carbide Corporation’s Seadrift Operations, a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA acting regional administrator Frank Strasheim in Dallas. "The facility's outstanding efforts include maintaining an injury and illness rate 85 percent below the national average for the industry."

Union Carbide's Seadrift Operations has 706 employees who operate the plant's 14 production units. An additional 646 contractor employees are on site performing maintenance, capital projects, and guard and janitorial services. The chemical plant produces more than 40 products for use in everyday household, business and consumer products, such as plastic for wire and cable applications, automotive parts, toys, diapers, roofing materials, antifreeze, and health and beauty products.

More than 1,700 worksites in more than 270 industries nationwide have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management support and employee involvement; a high quality worksite hazard analysis, prevention and control programs; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their respective industries.