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Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882

For Immediate Release
June 8, 2007
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428

Wilsonville employer recognized for workplace safety

Utility Vault newest member of Oregon VPP safety program

A Wilsonville producer of concrete pre-cast vaults has joined an elite workplace safety program committed to keeping workers safe and reducing injuries.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) today presented "VPP Star Award" status to Utility Vault in Wilsonville. 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, 15 Oregon worksites participate in VPP.

"Utility Vault has reached a level of safety and health management excellence," said Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon OSHA. "VPP demonstrates that the employer has made a commitment to becoming self-sufficient for its safety and health needs. The program provides employers with a blueprint for success by working with Oregon OSHA, and when we work together we can accomplish incredible things to make workplaces safer."

During the past three years, Utility Vault has maintained an average for workplace injuries and illness with time lost from work that is 94 percent below the statewide industry average for concrete manufacturers. In 2006, Utility Vault reported one injury case with time lost from work during more than 160,000 hours of production.

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 during the approval process, including management commitment to safety and health, employee participation in safety, workplace self-inspection, providing safety and health training, emergency programs and drills, and preventive maintenance. VPP participants 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.

Thirteen worksites are members of Oregon OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program. Additional Oregon OSHA VPP sites are AmeriTies West LLC in The Dalles, BOC Edwards Medford Electronic Materials in White City, GE Security in Tualatin, Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill, Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill, Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill, iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Service Center in Beaverton, Marvin Wood Products in Baker City, Masterbrand Cabinets in Hillsboro, PW Eagle in Eugene, Stanley Hydraulic Tools in Milwaukie and Timber Products Spectrum Division in White City.

Two federal facilities in Oregon, the United States Postal Service Evergreen DCU in Hillsboro and Washington Group International in Umatilla, participate in the national Voluntary Protection Program coordinated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest regulatory agency, administers state laws and rules, and protects consumers and workers in the areas of workers’ compensation, occupational safety and health, financial services, insurance, building codes, and targeted contracting opportunities for small business. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.