The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on December 7 praised STERIS Corporation's Hopkins Road facility in Mentor, Ohio, as one of the most effective employers in the nation in protecting employees. OSHA has welcomed the plant into the prestigious "Star," or highest, category of its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).

The STERIS facility at 6515 Hopkins Road has been in operation since 1996. The facility, with 135 full-time employees, manufactures sterilization and decontamination equipment and related products for the health care and life sciences industries.

"This STERIS facility has operated at a safety rate superior to the national average for injury and illness incidence in similar workplaces," said Michael G. Connors, OSHA's regional administrator in Chicago. "We believe that the cooperation between management and employees at this site is the key to the company's success, and we hope the entire industry will emulate this effort."

"This award summarizes the effort that every STERIS Hopkins facility employee has given toward the prevention of unsafe acts and conditions," said Mark Anderson, STERIS Corporation's director of mentor operations. "In addition to the elimination of injuries, the safety discipline and teamwork that we've developed has also contributed significantly to all other aspects of our operation."

The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. In these programs, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a worksite that has implemented strong safety and health systems. Star members meet all VPP requirements and are at the top of the program's recognition ladder. More than 1,860 worksites nationwide have earned entry into OSHA's VPP.