International Paper Company’s xpedx facility has earned membership in the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the prestigious "Star" level. A recognition ceremony took place September 7 in El Paso, Texas, at the company's facility on Market Avenue.

"The xpedx facility has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "The company's outstanding efforts at this site include maintaining a safe and healthful work environment where employees speak multiple languages on a daily basis."

The wholesale distribution center – xpedx – receives and ships paper goods and equipment to customers throughout the El Paso metropolitan area. The center has maintained a below-the-industry rate of injuries and illnesses for the past three years. International Paper, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., employs 53 workers in El Paso.

The xpedx facility joins an elite corps of more than 1,790 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.