FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-39
June 19, 2008

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


Toyota North American Parts Center California Receives Cal/OSHA’s Distinguished Voluntary Protection Program STAR Award

Ontario, June 19, 2008—The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DIR/DOSH) today awarded the coveted Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) STAR Flag to Toyota North American Parts Center (Toyota NAPCC), an automotive warehouse parts operation in Ontario.

“We are impressed with Toyota’s management and employees for their dedication to safety practices in the workplace,” said DIR Director John Duncan. “They have put in place creative and industrious methods to promote a safe working environment and are an exemplary model to follow among California’s more than 1.2 million employers, especially in the automotive industry.”

Toyota NAPCC—one of two key Toyota facilities in North America—began their automotive warehouse operation in 1996 in Ontario. The site receives and warehouses automotive parts from suppliers located in Japan and North America, and are then shipped to Toyota distribution centers throughout the United States and abroad. 

As part of their hallmark to foster a safe working environment, Toyota successfully elicits employee participation. Creative VPP approaches such as having departments compete to see which one could quickly conform to the 19 elements in Cal/VPP first, are one of the many ways employees are trained in workplace safety.

The company also has an occupational health nurse on-site during normal working hours and holds daily tailgate meetings before starting work.

“We are proud and honored to receive the highest award for safety and health in the workplace. Protecting the safety and well being of our employees is paramount,” said Jane Beseda, group vice president and general manager, customer service division for Toyota. “The Cal/VPP STAR represents Toyota’s commitment to safety that Toyota associates demonstrate on a daily basis.”

The Cal/VPP STAR award recognizes employers and their employees for implementing safety 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 64 VPP sites in California flying the STAR flag.

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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