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Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
For Immediate Release
July 15, 2005
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428
and Jim McDonald, Impregilo-Healy Joint Venture, 503-595-4400

Impregilo-Healy joins VPP safety recognition program

- The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) today presented ‘VPP Merit Award’ status to Impregilo-Healy Joint Venture. The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) is a workplace safety-and-health-management program that encourages employers to voluntarily meet rigorous workplace safety standards to protect workers and reduce injuries. Currently, eight sites participate in VPP in Oregon.

Impregilo-Healy was recognized for safety and health management of the Portland West Side Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Tunnel Project. The joint venture construction project, which includes a 14-foot diameter tunnel paralleling the Willamette River for four miles at a depth of about 150 feet, is scheduled to reach conclusion in 2006. During the period evaluated by Oregon OSHA, Impregilo-Healy maintained an injury rate below the national average for bridge or tunnel construction. Impregilo-Healy employs 360 people on the West Side CSO project.

VPP is a program designed to recognize employers that have made an exceptional commitment to workplace safety and health. To achieve VPP status, a worksite must have a three-year-average-injury-and-illness rate at or below the rates of other employers in the same industry. The worksite undergoes an extensive Oregon OSHA review of workplace conditions, safety records, employee safety-and-health programs, and regulatory compliance. The review includes Oregon OSHA interviews with employees.

Evaluators review 19 program elements, including management commitment to safety, employee participation, self-inspection, safety-and-health training, emergency programs and drills, and preventive maintenance. VPP employers are removed from Oregon OSHA's routine scheduled inspection list for the duration of their participation. Employees do not lose any rights under the program. Oregon OSHA still investigates accidents, formal complaints, and chemical spills.

Additional VPP sites in Oregon are AmeriTies West LLC in The Dalles, Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill, Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill, Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill, Marvin Wood Products in Baker City, PW Eagle in Eugene and Timber Products Spectrum Division in White City.

Oregon OSHA is committed to partnering with employers and workers to keep Oregon’s injury rates low, and workers’ compensation costs under control. One of the best things an employer can do to prevent injuries is to properly train employees. Oregon OSHA offers free training, free safety and health consultations, and education and training materials from the OR-OSHA Resource Center. Keep your employees and workplaces safe through a commitment to training, education and elimination of hazards.

For more information about the VPP or SHARP programs, contact Mark Hurliman, Oregon OSHA VPP/SHARP program coordinator at 503-947-7437. More information and resources for workplace safety and health are available on Oregon OSHA's Web site, www.orosha.org