In January 2009, VSEA members Geroge Walker and Dan Whipple celebrated with employees at the St. Johnsbury AOT garage after the garage was named the nation’s first transportation shop to be awarded Voluntary Protection Program Star Status; a prestigious honor awarded for achieving the highest level of safety and health protections possible.
A recent report shows AOT workers’ comp claims continue to hover near the top across state gov’t. The question then is why aren’t more AOT garages adopting the VPP to help save the State some much needed money?
From 2009 VSEA Week In Action Postings:
Big congratulations to VSEA members working in AOT District 7 (St. Johnsbury) for being the nation’s first public transportation shop to achieve OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status. It’s a prestigious honor and it means this group of workers has achieved the highest level of safety and health protections for employees. To give you an example of how rare this distinction is, of Vermont’s 14,000+ registered businesses, only six enjoy VPP status.
VTrans District 7 Celebrates VPP “Star” Status With Flag Raising Ceremony
Back in January, WIA told you about AOT District 7 (St. Johnsbury) being named the nation’s first public sector transportation shop to achieve VOSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status. It’s a prestigious honor awarded to the employees for achieving the highest level of safety and health protections possible. To give you an example of how rare this distinction is, of Vermont’s 14,000+ registered businesses, only six enjoy VPP status—and all the other recipients are private sector employers.
Today, June 12, the employees gathered with State officials to raise a new flag outside the District 7 office, identifying the garage as a VOSHA VPP “Star” status facility.
“We’re ecstatic about the award,” said VSEA member Diane Dargie, who coordinated today’s successful flag-raising event. “It’s been a long three-year process, and everyone is on board now. The more projects we have done, the safer our work environment has become. It’s a very good idea.”
Dan Whipple, a VOSHA employee and VSEA member, helped shepherd the VPP process at the District 7 garage. He said cooperation between labor and management was the driving force behind achieving the “Star” status, praising the effort and reminding what an exclusive club this is and how hard people have to work to get to this point.
“The real value to me here is that employees have a real stake in their own safety and health. They have a voice,” said Whipple.