PASCAGOULA, Miss., Dec. 10, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been recognized for exemplary shipyard safety through official acceptance into the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-sponsored Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The company's Gulfport, Miss., and Tallulah, La., facilities have been accepted by VPP; its Pascagoula and New Orleans facilities will be evaluated for VPP acceptance in 2008.
OSHA representatives presented the official VPP status certification and flags to management and shipbuilders working at these facilities last week.
"I am proud of our entire workforce in helping to make this possible," said Philip Teel, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector. "This distinction clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to safety compliance, a safer work environment for our employees and a competitive advantage for our customers."
OSHA's VPP program recognizes outstanding achievement by employers and employees in safety. The process requires a strong working relationship with management and labor, and proven safety excellence that goes beyond mere compliance with OSHA standards. The VPP recognizes those sites that implement a comprehensive safety and health management system resulting in lower injuries.
Kraig Scheyer, corporate vice president of administrative services for Northrop Grumman, congratulated employees on this accomplishment. "A lot of elements had to be put together to gain VPP status," said Scheyer. "But the most important part is the engagement of each employee. It takes management working together. It takes all of the crafts, all of the administrative functions working together. The employees in Gulfport and Tallulah set a nice tone and are a model for the company."
To apply for VPP status, a company has to achieve reduced injury/illness rates as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and apply for certification. OSHA then conducts an on-site comprehensive assessment of the company's programs and interviews employees and management to confirm that all aspects of the VPP requirements have been fully implemented. Sites that make the grade must submit annual self-evaluations and undergo periodic onsite re-evaluations to remain in the program.
Labor representatives support, and will continue to support, VPP efforts throughout the company's Ship Systems' facilities. "The IBEW Local 733, is committed to the VPP because it helps provide workers a safer and more healthful work environment. Together we can make a difference," said Jim Couch, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Bruce Williams, president of the Metal Trades Council in New Orleans added, "We feel VPP is an appropriate means for providing a safer workplace for the workers."
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Bill Glenn Northrop Grumman Ship Systems 228-935-1323 Cell: 228-327-1671 firstname.lastname@example.org