The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) as a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star site on June 20.
The VPP Star certification is OSHA's highest honor and is designed for exemplary worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. Organizations in the Star Program have achieved injury and illness rates at or below the national average of their respective industries. NSWC IHD's injury and illness rates on average were 64.5 percent below the national average for its industry.
"We are extremely proud of our safety culture and performance," says Capt. Andy Buduo, NSWC IHD's commanding officer. "VPP Star status was achieved through a team effort that required each and every employee's commitment.
"The entire workforce played an integral role in this endeavor by providing feedback to management, improving their individual safety performance, looking out for their co-workers and operating safely," adds Buduo.
The OSHA team performed a four-day worksite evaluation earlier this year from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, which included a comprehensive inspection of safety programs, work processes and site facilities and interviews with employees. During this evaluation, NSWC IHD was identified as having multiple best practices/areas of excellence in areas such as employee involvement and ownership in safety and health, communications processes, trend analyses, and qualification and certification processes.
"Safety is a number one priority at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division," said Dennis McLaughlin, NSWC IHD's technical director. "We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees."
Out of more than 8 million worksites in the United States, approximately 2,500 have been designated as VPP Sites. These sites are considered exemplary in their ability to control workplace hazards.
VPP participants receive their first recertification evaluation three years following approval into the Star Program. Successive evaluations are conducted every three to five years depending on the strength of the site's program and the policy of the region, although site injury and illness rates are reviewed annually.