Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
International Paper receives highest certification for employee safety, health program
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2005) – International Paper, the world’s largest paper and forest products company, today received recognition for the extraordinary employee safety and health program of its corrugated container plant in Lexington.
The plant was inducted as a STAR site of the Voluntary Protection Partnership (VPP) program administered by the Kentucky Office of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC).
VPP STAR is the highest level of certification for employee safety and health. It signifies an employer who provides safety and health programs that go beyond standards to offer the best feasible protection for workers. STAR sites serve as models for health and safety in their industries and as mentors to other companies.
International Paper-Lexington, currently the ninth VPP STAR company in Kentucky, has 120 employees and a record of consistent attention to safety. Its lost-workday incidence rate is 35 percent below the average for the industry. The plant received a Governor’s Award in 2003 for having worked 624,000 hours without a recordable incident.
The induction ceremony today included the raising of a VPP flag at the plant. EPPC Deputy Secretary John Clay and Kentucky OSH Executive Director Steve Morrison were among participants, as was Terry Ammerman, Bluegrass regional representative for Governor Ernie Fletcher.
On average, attaining VPP STAR status takes 2.2 years. The VPP process is intentionally rigorous, focusing not just on technical compliance but on creation of a world-class, sustainable safety system that minimizes accidents and illnesses. Companies are not subject to scheduled state inspections for the duration of their participation in the program.
Other VPP STAR companies in Kentucky are:
- Dow Corning – Carrollton
- General Electric Aircraft – Madisonville
- Alcan – Glasgow
- Rohm and Haas – Louisville
- General Electric Lamp – Lexington
- Modine Corp. – Harrodsburg
- Hunter Douglas – Owensboro
- Performance Pipe – Williamstown