Robert D. Allen
For Release: June 24, 1999
RELEASE NO. 99-033
NOTE TO EDITORS: JUNE 28 EVENT
NASA's Langley Research Center will become the first federal worksite accepted to the highest tier of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) foremost safety and health program on Monday, June 28.
The induction ceremony will take place in Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center at 9:30 a.m. It will last about 30 minutes.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Charles N. Jeffress will join NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Langley Center Director Jeremiah F. Creedon to celebrate Langley's admission to OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
Members of the news media are invited to attend the induction ceremony. Please contact Bob Allen at (757) 864-6176 to reserve a place in the audience.
In October 1998, Langley became the first federal government worksite to be awarded Star certification, the highest level, within the VPP. The VPP is OSHA's most prestigious safety and health program.
The award recognizes the excellence of Langley's safety and health programs. As a result, Langley will assume responsibility for its annual safety and health inspections. OSHA will continue to evaluate the Center on-site every three years.
"Employee and contractor safety and health is NASA's top priority," said Creedon. "I am very pleased that Langley is leading the way into the Voluntary Protection Program; not only for NASA, but for the entire Federal Government."
Jeffress first announced the award at the 53rd Annual Federal Safety and Health Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., in late October 1998.
"The Federal Government should lead the way when it comes to occupational safety and health in America," said Jeffress. "We are proud that the Langley Research Center, with its first-class safety and health program, is helping to do that."
There are three programs within the VPP -- Star (highest), Merit and Demonstration. Langley is the first federal facility in the nation to achieve VPP Star certification.
Star-certified sites have comprehensive, successful safety and health programs, injury and illness rates below the national average for their industry and a history of having demonstrated good faith in dealings with OSHA.
The OSHA team evaluating Langley in Oct. 1998 found excellence in safety and health management, employee training and involvement and appropriate resources. They noted that Langley's injury and lost workday injury and illness rates are about 70 percent below that of similar private-sector laboratories.
The VPP was established to encourage employers to improve their occupational safety and health programs. It recognizes and promotes effect safety and health management. VPP sites demonstrate improved productivity, employee morale and community recognition.
There are currently 468 VPP worksites nationally. Several additional federal facilities are now in the process of following Langley into the VPP, including NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
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