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May 21, 2002

Ann Hutchison

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-3039 or 650/604-9000

ahutchison@mail.arc.nasa.gov



NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media representatives are invited to a ceremony during which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will award the Voluntary Protection Program ‘star’ status to NASA Ames Research Center on Thursday, May 23, at 10 a.m. PDT in Ames’ main auditorium (Bldg. N201). The presentation is part of NASA Ames’ annual Safety and Quality Week, May 20-23. To reach NASA Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off U.S. 101 and drive east to the main gate. All U.S. news media must present a government-issued photo I.D. for access to the site.

Release: 02-64AR

OSHA TO RECOGNIZE NASA AMES’ SAFETY, HEALTH EXCELLENCE

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will formally recognize NASA Ames Research Center’s excellence in health and safety programs at a May 23 ceremony. The ceremony will be part of the center’s annual Safety and Quality Week.

Gabriel Gillotti, director of OSHA’s San Francisco Office of Voluntary Programs and Outreach, will present the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) flag and ‘star’ to NASA Ames Director Dr. Henry McDonald at a ceremony at 10 a.m. PDT on May 23. Following the formal presentation in the Ames auditorium (Bldg. N201), the VPP flag will be raised in front of the Ames administration building (Bldg. N200) at 11 a.m. PDT.

"While safety always has been the top priority at NASA Ames, achieving the VPP ‘star’ status acknowledges the cooperative effort that exists between Ames employees, unions, management and OSHA as they work together to achieve a safer, more healthful work environment," McDonald said.

Also expected to attend the ceremony are Frank Strasheim, OSHA regional administrator, and James Lloyd, director of the Safety and Risk Management Division in the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

VPP participants are a select group of sites that have designed and implemented outstanding safety and health programs. As a VPP ‘star’ site, NASA Ames is recognized as having an exemplary commitment to workplace safety and health

"This recognition is important for Ames and its continuing efforts to provide a safe and

healthful workplace for our employees," said David King, chief of Ames’ Safety, Health and Medical Services Division. "Our employees and contractors at every level contributed to the success of this program."

The prestigious ‘star’ status is the highest category of the Voluntary Protection Program. The award follows years of preparation at NASA Ames and intensive, on-site inspection by OSHA representatives in 2001 and 2002.

The OSHA team evaluating Ames’ safety and health program for participation in VPP found excellence in safety and health management, employee involvement and training, and appropriate resources to support health and safety efforts. The team spent two weeks at NASA Ames interviewing employees and surveying safety and health-related programs.

The VPP is designed to recognize and promote effective safety and health management. Management, labor and OSHA must have a cooperative relationship at a workplace that has implemented a strong program. VPP sites experience fewer employee injuries and illnesses, reduced workers' compensation costs, improved productivity and improved employee morale, recognition in the community, and improvement of programs that are already good, through the internal and external reviews that are part of the VPP application process.

Additional information about VPP is available at:

http://www.osha.gov/oshprogs/vpp/overview.html

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