Duro-Last Inc. has announced its Grants Pass, Ore., manufacturing facility recently received a renewal on the plant’s Star Site status from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), earning an exemplary A+ rating. Originally awarded Star Site status in 2016, this renewal reinforces Duro-Last’s continued commitment to the highest standards of workplace safety.
OSHA’s VPP program is designed to recognize employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP programs, management, labor, and OSHA work proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on hazard prevention, worksite analysis, training, and worker involvement.
Facilities can qualify for one of three VPP programs—Demonstration, Merit and Star. As the highest level of recognition awarded by VPP, the Star program recognizes exemplary worksites that have developed successful safety and health management systems. These sites are self-sufficient in their ability to control workplace hazards and are reevaluated every three to five years.
“Duro-Last’s ability to adapt to the pandemic and continue to involve employees in ways to stay safe and healthy was very good,” read the report from Oregon OSHA. “The lengths they went to protect their employees from COVID-19 was very refreshing to see. They acted quickly, and used all of the right resources to determine what needed to be done to provide the safe work environment through the pandemic.”
The application and renewal process for OSHA’s VPP programs requires an extensive evaluation of the site, operations and health and safety programs. The onsite assessment requires a review of records, logs and inspection history, as well as meetings with management staff and employees, a walk-through of the facility to determine hazards and precautions, formal and informal interviews, and a closing meeting to discuss findings and recommendations.
“We are proud of the leadership shown by the Duro-Last safety team in Grants Pass with this VPP renewal,” says Michael Matthews, corporate safety director for Duro-Last. “While safety has always been our number one core value across the entire organization, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified that for us this past year. Not only did our internal teams embrace opportunities to make our facilities a safer environment, they also embraced the opportunity to lend a helping hand, rapidly shifting gears to develop and manufacture PPE equipment for those in need. We couldn’t be prouder of the safety-focused work that has been done throughout the entire Duro-Last organization over the past 12 months, and the VPP recognition earned by our Oregon team exemplifies our commitment to keeping safety at the forefront of everything we do.”