Ho'okele Staff | Jun 16, 2012
Pearl Harbor Naval
Shipyard Public Affairs
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard its official recertification as a “Star” work site during a ceremony at the shipyard June 5.
The “Star” rating is the highest under OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) that recog-nize private industry and federal agencies with exemplary safety and health management systems. The shipyard is the only federal activity in Hawaii currently designated as a VPP Star site.
Barbara Goto, OSHA Region IX assistant regional administrator, presented letters to Capt. Brian Osgood, shipyard commander, and Don Bongo, Hawaii Federal Employees Metal Trades Council, AFL-CIO (HFEM TC) president, approving the shipyard’s continued status as a “Star” site.
“I applaud you for the work you’ve done,” Goto said. “I congratulate you on your recertification.”
Osgood described the OSHA approval as “a very significant achievement earned by every person in the shipyard working together.”
“You can’t buy safety. It has to come from personal attitudes, beliefs and conduct,” he said.
Bongo said, “The recerti-fication and recognition of the shipyard as a “Star” work site is a reaffirmation of the labor-management partnership required to become an OSHA-approved VPP work site. Safety is the union’s No. 1 priority, and the HFEMTC will continue to work to improve safety on the waterfront.”
The shipyard first attained “Star” status in 2007. VPP participants must undergo a review every three to five years to remain in the program. An OSHA team visited the shipyard last November to determine whether the command should be recertified.
Among the team’s findings was that the shipyard’s three-year injury rate was 68 percent below the industry average.
Goto noted that the ship yard’s decision to take part in VPP about eight years ago required a huge culture change. “As a former shipyard employee, I’m really proud of what the shipyard has done over the years,” she said.
For more information on the shipyard, go to www. navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/pearl/default.aspx.