Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Tallulah, La., has earned membership in the prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the "Star," or highest, level.

A recent recognition ceremony held at the company's facility on
Port Road was attended by Bruce Stark, the VPP coordinator in OSHA's Baton Rouge, La., area office.

"Northrop Grumman Ship Systems has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management," said OSHA regional administrator Dean W. McDaniel in
Dallas. "This site's outstanding efforts include maintaining an injury and illness rate that is 20 percent below the national average for the industry."

The Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Tallulah facility constructs structural metal parts and subassemblies for ships, using modern modular construction techniques. Eighty-six employees at the site produce finished assemblies that are sent to shipyards for final installation on seagoing vessels.

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.