Power Stations, Research Lab Latest 'Stars' in OSHA's Firmament
Five different operations, four of which are involved in power generation and servicing, are among the latest "star"-certified sites in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs. The star designation is the highest level of recognition that an employer can achieve in the VPP. Designed for worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health programs, the VPP is open to all industries and to companies with injury rates below their respective industries’ national averages.
Allegheny Energy's Harrison Power Station in Haywood, W.Va., for example, earned its star status in part by having an injury and illness rate 51 percent below the industry average. The power station employs 287 people and consists of three coal-fired units producing electricity.
The 96 employees of Wayne, Pa.-based Merck Research Laboratories, which is composed of three primary work groups that generate and validate testing methods for Merck's vaccines and clinical trials, maintained an injury and illness rate 59 percent below the industry average, contributing to its stardom.
Meanwhile, three different Entergy Corp. facilities in Louisiana likewise received stars for exceptional safety and health achievement. The Entergy Ninemile Point Steam Electric Station, a gas- and oil-fired electrical facility employing 85 people in Westwego, La., has maintained an injury and illness rate that is 85 percent below the national average for the industry.
The Entergy Operations Lockport Service Center, which employs 17 people who operate and maintain power lines that provide electricity to both residential and commercial customers in Lafourche Parish, including the cities of Lockport and Golden Meadow, La., and the town of Grand Isle, La., in Jefferson Parish, has had zero lost workday incidents in more than 20 years, according to OSHA Regional Administrator Dean W. McDaniel, who said the company is "a real role model for the industry."
The Entergy Michoud Steam Electric Station in New Orleans, also a role model, McDaniel said, earned its star membership for an "outstanding record [that] includes zero lost workday incidents in more than 25 years." The station, which began commercial production in 1957, is a natural gas-fired electrical generation facility. Its 50 employees operate and maintain the equipment needed to generate electricity.
More than 1,860 worksites nationwide have earned entry into OSHA’s VPP. The program has proven over the years to be an effective means of reducing injuries, illnesses, fatalities and costs, while fostering a more productive workforce and increasing employee morale, OSHA says.