Stericycle’s Parkersburg, West Virginia was recognized as the first medical waste treatment facility awarded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status for its achievement of excellence in worker safety and health. OSHA representatives, community dignitaries, Stericycle management, and Stericycle team members celebrated receipt of this prestigious award at a ceremony held on April 20 at the Stericycle facility. “This is an exciting milestone for Stericycle,” stated Matt Marra, Stericycle’s Senior Vice President of Safety, Health and Compliance for Stericycle. “Not only are we proud that Stericycle has the first facility of its kind to receive this prestigious award, but we hope to use the Parkersburg facility as a model to drive increased awareness and recognition of our safety and health management processes across the Stericycle network.”
The VPP is designed to recognize and promote effective workplace safety and health management; Star participants are considered at the top of the VPP recognition ladder. Key criteria for receipt of this recognition include a cooperative relationship among management, labor and OSHA in the implementation and ongoing maintenance of a strong safety and health management system. The Star level recognition for Stericycle’s Parkersburg facility marks the first time in VPP history that a medical waste treatment facility has received this award. In addition to its employee safety and health management system, the Stericycle facility has an injury and illness recordable incidence case rate approximately 68.5% below the national average for its industry (NAICS Code 562219) between 2010 and 2014.
“All elements of Stericycle’s safety and health management programs met the high quality expected of VPP participants,” said Prentice Cline, Area Director for the Charleston, West Virginia Area Office. “This company’s commitment to a safe and healthful work environment makes it most deserving of this honor.” Stericycle employs approximately 19 team members at the Parkersburg facility that support the transportation and treatment of medical waste from healthcare facilities in the surrounding communities. Treatment of regulated medical waste before final disposal is a regulatory requirement for healthcare facilities, but also effectively safeguards people and communities from potentially dangerous material that could otherwise spread disease or contaminate the environment. Participants in VPP have shown that an investment in the OSHA program is an effective allocation of resources. VPP sites experience fewer employee injuries and illnesses, reduced workers’ compensation costs, improved productivity, improved employee morale, and recognition in the community. In addition, sites’ safety and health management systems are further improved over time through the internal and external reviews that are part of VPP’s ongoing participation requirements. “This has been a three year process for the Parkersburg team, but a phenomenal opportunity overall,” said Mark McClure, the Area Safety and Health Manager for Stericycle who lead the VPP application process. “Working as a team on the VPP process really helped to identify safety improvement opportunities from a range of perspectives as well as to foster a safety mindset that became a part of the day-to-day routine at Parkersburg. We’re excited to leverage the key leanings from this process at other Stericycle locations.” Watch a 2-minute video overview of the VPP Award Ceremony