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09-864-PHI (osha 09-158)
August 3, 2009
Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5101

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA recognizes National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, W.Va., for workplace safety

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recertified the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a star site, the highest in its prestigious Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).

OSHA Charleston Area Director Jeff Funke recognized the company during a ceremony at the company's facility in Morgantown. "NIOSH continues to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the safety of the employees by maintaining an injury and illness rate 52 percent below comparable industry rates," he said.

Established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 along with OSHA, NIOSH was tasked with conducting research for consideration of regulations affecting worker health and safety in the United States. There are currently three research divisions located in Morgantown: the Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, the Division of Safety Research and the Health Effects Laboratory Division.

NIOSH originally was approved as a VPP star site on Dec. 5, 2005.

More than 2,200 worksites representing some 270 industries nationwide have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working