GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Duro-Last Inc. has announced that its Grants Pass, Ore. manufacturing facility recently received a renewal on their Star Site status from the Occupational Safety & Health Organization’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), earning an exemplary “A” rating.

Originally awarded Star Site status in 2016, this renewal recognizes 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 cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, and management commitment 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.

“Our Grants Pass team is made up of some of the most dedicated people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” said Tim Hart, Vice President of Western Operations. “They take ownership of their safety, and their investment and enthusiasm have been a model for safe operations throughout our entire organization nationwide.”

The application and renewal process for OSHA’s VPP programs requires an extensive evaluation of the site, operations and health and safety programs. The on-site 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 work put into the successful renewal of our VPP Star Site status in Grants Pass,” said Michael Matthews, Corporate Safety Director. “We are currently leveraging what we learned from this process and from the dedicated Oregon OSHA team to implement VPP status at each of our manufacturing facilities across the country.”

In addition to their VPP renewal, Duro-Last’s Grants Pass Safety Committee received special recognition during the Southern Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Conference held this fall. The Safety Committee at the Grants Pass facility was recognized for the third year in a row with the Safety Committee Recognition Award in honor of Frank J. Bertak. This award identifies safety committees, its members and activities that have made a significant contribution toward the company’s overall success. Duro-Last’s Grants Pass Safety Committee meets once a month to review overall facility operations and any recorded safety occurrences. It’s during these meetings that they discuss potential causes of safety occurrences, what protocols need to be created or adjusted, and a plan for execution.

Tim Hart was also recognized during the conference with the “Business Leader Who Gets It Award.” This award recognizes business leaders who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to safety and health. The company says it shows how the leader has set the pace for safety in their organization and works towards the development of a world-class safety culture throughout the organization. Hart was the first to receive this award in 2014, and was recognized again at the 2018 conference for his continued dedication to workplace safety both at Duro-Last and as a leader for other businesses looking to strengthen their own safety protocols.

Additionally, because of his continued dedication and leadership in safe workplace practices, the Oregon SHARP Alliance recently elected Hart to serve a two-year term as the SHARP & VPP delegate for Region 4. In this role, Hart will serve as a resource for other organizations in the region and collaborate with other Alliance delegates to promote safety and health management initiatives for the betterment of all Oregon workers.

“Tim has been a strong proponent for the development and implementation of safety initiatives throughout the company, and lead the charge for our VPP status in Oregon,” said Duro-Last CEO Tom Saeli. “Safety, Teamwork, Integrity and Respect make up the core values at Duro-Last, and we are proud of the work that Tim and the Oregon Safety Team continue to accomplish.”