Cardinal IG in Fargo, N.D., was recognized recently by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) voluntary protection program (VPP) for its safety and health programs.
The plant, which employs around 354 workers and is a division of Cardinal Glass Industries in Eden Prairie, Minn., was recommended by OSHA for continued inclusion as a star site participant in the VPP, says Cardinal IG Fargo plant manager Mike Arntson.
The star level is the program’s highest level of certification. It recognizes employers and employees for developing and implementing continuous workplace safety and health management programs that result in injury/illness rates that are below the national averages for their industries.
Arntson says that his plant was the first out of 13 Cardinal IG plants to be named a VPP star worksite. As of now, 10 of the 13 Cardinal IG plants have been named VPP star worksites, according to OSHA.
“I can’t express how proud I am of our team for realizing this significant achievement,” says Arntson. “There remain only eleven overall sites in North Dakota at the Star level of certification, which ranks the Fargo plant’s safety program in the top 1% of manufacturers in North Dakota. Even more impressive, just 0.02% of eligible sites in the U.S. currently carry any OSHA VPP certification, much less the highest level, star.”
According to Arntson, the Fargo IG plant was officially recognized as a VPP star worksite by the Department of Labor in 2017 — VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs and are exempt from OSHA-programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status. For its re-evaluation, Arntson says that 18% of his team members were interviewed by audit staff.
“The site maintains excellent housekeeping practices to promote workplace safety and also has a very comprehensive health and wellness program,” says OSHA regional administrator Jennifer S. Rous. “Star level designation in the VPP is the highest safety achievement a company can earn from OSHA. Cardinal’s commitment to employee safety and health is very evident at all levels of this workplace.”
The VPP recognizes and promotes effective worksite-based safety and health management systems. In the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented comprehensive safety and health management systems. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have created exemplary worksite safety and health management systems.