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For Immediate Release
October 18, 2002

Contact Information:
Kevin Weeks 503-947-7428  (direct dial)

Lynn Markley, Frito-Lay Corporation

Frito-Lay in Beaverton among ‘best of the best' for worker safety

Frito-Lay's Beaverton facility was honored by Oregon OSHA on October 17 for an exceptional safety record and an ongoing commitment to worker safety and health.

Managers and staff of the Beaverton factory, which produces cookies and pretzels, received ‘VPP Star Award' status from the Oregon OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The Voluntary Protection Program is a national program that encourages companies to voluntarily meet rigorous workplace safety and health management standards to protect workers and reduce injuries, especially within industries that traditionally have a high injury or fatal incident rate.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that Frito-Lay's Beaverton facility is among the ‘best of the best' for workplace safety management. Oregon OSHA has jurisdiction over 82,000 employers in the state, and currently Frito-Lay is one of six employers in the VPP program," says Peter De Luca, administrator of Oregon OSHA. "The Beaverton facility had an injury lost-workday rate in 2001 which was 44 percent lower than the industry average for cookie and cracker production. That safety record is accomplished because every person at the factory makes a commitment to working safely."

The total rate for worker injuries of all types at the Beaverton plant last year was 50 percent below the average for that industry.

"In human terms, that means four more people at the Beaverton facility did NOT miss a day of work last year due to a serious injury who otherwise would have been injured," says De Luca. "Six additional people would have also experienced some sort of workplace injury. Those injuries would not have been prevented without Frito-Lay's commitment to safety."

"VPP is not ‘just another program' that is implemented and creates paperwork," says Mark Hurliman, VPP-SHARP program manager for Oregon OSHA. "It is a philosophy that results in improved worker motivation, continuous improvement, improved communication and reduced workers' compensation costs."

Frito-Lay Beaverton is one of six VPP sites in Oregon. The additional VPP sites in Oregon are Kerr McGee Chemical LLC in The Dalles (VPP Star Award), Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill (VPP Star Award), Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill (VPP Star Award), Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill (VPP Merit Award), and DPR Construction's Lewis & Clark Campus Housing Project in Portland (VPP Merit Award).

Frito-Lay employs 110 workers at the Beaverton factory. Over fifty workers were interviewed by the Oregon OSHA evaluation team to assess workplace safety prior to the recommendation for ‘STAR' status.

Oregon OSHA offers a variety of conferences, on-site training, educational resources and consultation services to help Oregon employers create safer workplaces and reduce the amount of productivity lost due to injuries which occur at work.

For questions regarding VPP, please contact Oregon OSHA's VPP-SHARP Program Manager, Mark E. Hurliman at (503) 947-7437, or toll free in Oregon at 1-800-922-2689. You can find out more about VPP on Oregon OSHA's website, www.orosha.org