ConocoPhillips Company's South Texas Asset in Aguilares, Texas, has been approved as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) worksite at the "Star," or highest, level by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A recognition ceremony was held today at the Zapata Community Center in Zapata, Texas.

"ConocoPhillips Company has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA regional administrator Dean W. McDaniel in Dallas. "The company's outstanding efforts include maintaining an injury and illness rate 57 percent below the national average for its industry."

ConocoPhillips Company South Texas Asset, a business unit of Houston-based ConocoPhillips, employs about 200 employees and 300 contract employees who conduct drilling and well services. The site is the home for ConocoPhillips' south Texas oil and gas exploration and production business.

More than 1,860 worksites 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.