USG Corp. has achieved the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star designation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at its Galena Park, Texas, manufacturing plant. Officials from OSHA presented the award on Nov. 29 to USG Galena Park’s 150 employees during a ceremony at the plant.
The Star is the highest recognition within OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program. To achieve it, employees, management and OSHA work together to implement safety and health programs and processes that go beyond OSHA regulations to further protect employees and promote safe operations. There are fewer than 2,500 worksites out of 8 million in all of the United States that hold the Star designation.
The Galena Park plant has an exceptional safety record, working more than 8,500 consecutive days without lost-time injury and more than 8.5 million worked hours since the last workday incident.
“The Galena Park plant has a history of everyone working well as a team and focused on safety above everything else,” said Van Newcomer, plant manager. “This accomplishment validates our hard work and commitment to safety excellence. We are happy to be working in partnership with OSHA to ensure that we continue to uphold the highest standards in safety.”
USG began operations in Galena Park in 1956, first with the paper mill, followed by the board line in 1959 and joint treatment in 1997. The plant manufactures USG’s industry-leading Sheetrock brand gypsum panels, which are distributed throughout metropolitan Houston, South Texas and Southern Louisiana.
“Employees here and across the company buy into our core value of safety and own it,” said Don Schaefer, director, Safety and Fleet Operations. “At USG, we want to ensure safety remains the top priority, and the OSHA VPP Star is just one more step in the right direction to keeping our employees safe.”
USG and its distribution subsidiary, L&W Supply Corp., are recognized as industry leaders in safety. USG was a founding member of the National Safety Council, which started in 1914, almost 50 years before OSHA was founded. As a testament to the company’s safety focus, 12 of USG’s manufacturing plants and two L&W Supply branches are OSHA VPP Star worksites.