FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-32
June 11, 2008

CONTACT:
Kate McGuire
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050
Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


Stockton, June 11, 2008—The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DIR/DOSH) today awarded the coveted Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) STAR Flag to USG Interiors, Inc., a manufacturing company, in ceremonies at the USG Stockton Grid Plant. 

“We’re very impressed by the commitment of USG’s management and employees to safety and health in the workplace,” said John Duncan director of DIR which administers the Cal/OSHA program under its Division of Occupational Safety & Health. “They are an example to follow among California’s more than 1.2 million employers and deserve this designation for their hard work.”

The Cal/VPP STAR award recognizes employers and their employees for implementing safety and health programs that effectively prevent and control occupational hazards.

These programs go beyond Cal/OSHA minimum standards and provide the best feasible protection for employers and employees at their work site. Cal/VPP STAR establishments are considered to be exemplary leaders in the field of workplace safety and health. There are currently more than 60 VPP sites in California flying the STAR flag.

A subsidiary of the Chicago based USG Corporation, USG Interiors, Inc. began manufacturing ceiling grid products in Stockton in 1987. USG employs 50 employees at the Stockton plant, who average 16 years of service.  USG Corporation is a Fortune 500 manufacturer and distributor of high-performance building systems with approximately 14,000 employees worldwide.

The plant received numerous safety awards including:

"My colleagues and I are honored to achieve Star Status," said John Wesley, plant manager at USG's Stockton facility.  "Safety is the top priority at USG.   We are honored to be included among the elite group of companies that have been recognized with Star Status in Cal/OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program."

Candidates for the Cal/VPP STAR program are required to complete a rigorous health and safety process. There are five key elements required to achieve induction into the program including management commitment, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, health and safety training, and continual improvement. Applicants must submit documents to support the implementation of the five Cal/VPP elements along with the last three years average Injury & Illness Rates and Loss Work Day Incident rates.

DIR/DOSH protects workers and the public from safety hazards and provides consultation to employers. For more information about the Voluntary Protection Program and other topics, visit the DOSH web site at www.dir.ca.gov/dosh.

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