The 3M Company in Columbia, Mo., has earned membership in the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the highest, or "Star," level.

"The 3M Company has exhibited excellence in safety and health management," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "The company's outstanding efforts include management commitment to safety and health, and employee involvement in safety and health programs."

Minnesota-based 3M has 570 full-time employees and three resident contractors at the Columbia facility, which manufactures flexible circuits and connectors for the electronics industry and houses shipping and receiving, production and maintenance operations, as well as offices.

Information kits about the VPP application and approval processes can be obtained by calling OSHA's Kansas City Regional Office at 816-426 5861.

3M's Columbia facility joins an elite corps of more than 1,700 worksites in more than 270 industries nationwide that 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.