NIOSH Re-Achieves 'Star' Status for Practicing What It Researches

OSHA has recertified the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as a star site, the highest level in the federal Voluntary Protection Programs. OSHA Charleston Area Director Jeff Funke recognized the company during a ceremony at the company's facility in Morgantown, W. Va.

"NIOSH continues to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the safety of the employees by maintaining an injury and illness rate 52 percent below comparable industry rates," Funke said.

Established along with OSHA by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970, NIOSH was tasked with conducting research for consideration of regulations affecting worker health and safety in the United States. There are currently three research divisions located in Morgantown: the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, the Division of Safety Research, and the Health Effects Laboratory Division. NIOSH originally was approved as a VPP star site on Dec. 5, 2005.

It is now one of more than 2,200 worksites in some 270 industries nationwide in OSHA's VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention, and control program; 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 program, OSHA says, adding that participating companies achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.

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