RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 24, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Commissioner C. Ray Davenport announced today that Dominion Energy Surry Power Station in Surry, Virginia, has been recertified as a Virginia STAR Worksite under Virginia’s Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), the program’s highest level of recognition. The facility was approved on November 23, 2020 with their third recertification since originally being certified on April 13, 2005.
“I am very proud of the Dominion Energy Surry Power Station for embodying the VPP commitment to safety and health, day in and day out, as they strive to make Virginia a better and safer place to work and live,” said Commissioner Davenport. “I congratulate Dominion Energy Surry Power Station in Surry, Virginia, on the occasion of their recertification as a Virginia STAR Worksite.”
The Surry Power Station’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees is demonstrated by its very low injury and illness rates. The worksite has a total three-year average for the TCIR (Total Case Incident Rate for injuries and illnesses) of 0.17 compared with a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national rate of 0.20. This represents a TCIR rate that is 15% lower than the national average. The site’s three-year average DART rate (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred injury and illness cases) is 0.03, compared with the 0.10 national rate, which is 66% below the national average.
As part of the recognition for achieving STAR status under VPP, the worksite is entitled to fly the “Virginia STAR” worksite flag. The Surry Power Station is the second VPP STAR site in Virginia and one of three VPP STAR sites in the United States. VPP includes two levels of participation, Merit and STAR, with STAR being the highest. Similar voluntary protection programs are conducted in other states across the country.
The process for reaching Virginia STAR status is extensive ensuring that the very best programs qualify. Since the inception of Virginia’s VPP in 1996, only 72 Virginia STAR worksites have been recognized, and only 35 Virginia companies currently retain the Virginia STAR designation. The Surry Power Station has set a standard of excellence that is second to none.
In Virginia VPP, a cooperative relationship is formed between the VOSH program, the employer, and employees, which include the agreement of company leaders to operate an exceptional safety and health management system that meets a rigorous set of criteria. Employers agree to voluntarily participate in the program and directly involve employees in all aspects of the safety and health management systems.
Businesses that participate in VPP substantially improve safety and health protections for thousands of employees through cooperative efforts to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents. Virginia STAR sites regularly report decreased bottom line costs associated with dramatically reduced injury and illness rates (an average of over 50% below the respective industry average), improved productivity and employee morale. Reducing private sector employer costs associated with the above-mentioned enhances a company’s economic viability and competitiveness while increasing capital.
DOLI operates six recognition programs including:
1 – Virginia STAR, a cooperative relationship between the VOSH program, employers, and employees including the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Requirements include an extensive application process, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of those programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average for the employer’s industry, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.
2 – Virginia BEST (Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training), a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) that recognizes AGCVA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia.
3 – Virginia BUILT, a new strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Virginia (ABCVA) and is designed to encourage and recognize ABC-VA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses, and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia. The Virginia BUILT program incorporates the ABC STEP program (Safety Training Evaluation Process) as the gateway to participation in Virginia BUILT.
4 – Virginia CHALLENGE, a formal three-stage recognition program that dramatically improves safety and health at the worksite and prepares the company to apply for Virginia STAR recognition.
5 – VOSH–VADOC CHALLENGE, a strategic partnership between the DOLI and the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) to recognize safety and health excellence at correctional facilities around the Commonwealth. Three stages of participation in VADOC Challenge prepare sites to apply for Virginia STAR recognition. Virginia has the only two correctional facilities in the nation to have received VPP STAR status, Augusta and Lunenburg Correctional Centers. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office closest to you at www.doli.virginia.gov or Milford Stern, VPP Manager, at (540) 562-3580, ext. 123, or Milford.Stern@doli.virginia.gov.
6 – The Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes businesses of 250 employees or fewer and is administered by the DOLI Consultative Services Division. Contact Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, (804) 786-8707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOLI also offers free On-Site Consultation Services to help employers better understand and voluntarily comply with VOSH standards. Priority is given to high hazard workplaces with 250 or fewer employees and all services are offered to employers at no cost. On-Site Consultation Services helps employers identify and correct potential safety and health hazards by conducting walk-through surveys (without citations or penalties), abatement advice, on-site training, and program assistance to develop safety and health programs.
Additional information about On-Site Consultation Services can be obtained by contacting the DOLI office closest to you at https://www.doli.virginia.gov/about/doli-offices-statewide/ or by contacting Tracy Michaud, Consultation Program Manager, (804) 786-8707, or email@example.com.
The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program is financed in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §23(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The FFY21 Virginia State Plan is funded by a grant of $4,332,400 federal funds, which constitutes 50% of the State Plan budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the State Plan budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.
The Virginia On-Site Consultation Cooperative Agreement program is financed in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §21(d) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The FFY21 Virginia Consultation program is funded by a grant of $1,189,200 federal funds, which constitutes 90% of the Virginia Consultation program budget excluding any state overmatch funds. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the Virginia Consultation budget, is financed through nongovernmental sources.
Jennifer L. Rose, CSP
VOSH Cooperative Programs Director
News Source: Virginia Department of Labor and Industry