Safety has long held a place of importance in the way we conduct business. It is a core value at Milliken. We believe that each and every associate plays an active role in implementing and advancing our safety culture, a process we have honed through the course of our 153 years. Our dedication to safety is clearly articulated within our organization, but we refuse to be complacent. We are committed to furthering our knowledge on an ongoing basis.Part of that work includes utilizing third-party programs to help elevate our safety procedures. The OSHA Voluntary Protect Program (VPP) is one such program. Designed to recognize employers who implement effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national averages, OSHA VPP is a rigorous process with an extensive application and onsite external evaluations. Facilities must re-certify every three to five years to maintain their status.
Charlie Young, corporate director of safety at Milliken, shared that we find that our work with OSHA VPP helps enhance three elements of our safety program:
- Increased accountability: By nature of the program, OSHA VPP requires manufacturers to allow their employees to participate in the safety process. Retaining OSHA VPP status only solidifies our tenant that all associates play a role in furthering safety.
- Increased ownership: OSHA VPP helps promote safety process ownership among employees, as opposed to encouraging a safety process driven by management. Our associates, engaged by the proecess, are united in a common goal of reducing injuries. By owning the process, they take pride in the success the communal team achieves.
- Involved benchmarking: As OSHA VPP certified sites, we are able to learn from other organizations and share our own knowledge to help foster industry-wide safety advancements.
OSHA VPP certification has become a priority for our U.S.-based production sites because we believe that each associate brings value to the process to ultimately make our prevailing safety emphasis even stronger. It is a team effort, and we are especially proud to comment the Pine Mountain, Newton, and Kingsley plants on their recent OHSA VPP re-certifications in 2019.
Partnering with OSHA VPP helps to convey that we take seriously the health and safety of our associates and that we look to surpass industry minimum regulations. As shared in our first-ever corporate sustainability report, we hope to build upon our dedication to the OSHA VPP certification to achieve zero lost time safety incidents by 2025. Our work in the safety sphere will never be complete, yet we are excited to embrace this new challenge in service to our associates around the world.