In late 2008, the safety manager Carla Hanibal, together with the Continuous Safety Involvement team at the Valspar’s production facility in Covington, set their target on achieving national recognition for its safety program through the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Its Voluntary Protection Program, known as VPP, requires companies to develop a comprehensive management safety system with active employee involvement.
Acceptance into the VPP program is OSHA’s official recognition of companies that have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health standards. Within Valspar’s General Industrial Powder Group, plant participation in VPP is not just goal, but an expectation. "After reviewing the requirements and collaborating with our sister plant in Charlotte (the first to achieve VPP acceptance) our team was confident that we met and exceeded the standards with our safety programs," said Dale Blackwell, Valspar Covington plant manager.
An audit was conducted in February of 2009 to gauge how Valspar Covington measured up to OSHA’s standards. The collective effort of all employees and safety groups led to a successful audit and approval for the site to participate as a STAR facility.
On June 19, the Covington facility proudly accepted from OSHA a plaque and VPP flag. Celebrating with us were representatives from the Covington fire and police departments; Bill Harrington and G.T. Breezley from OSHA; SGE Charles Moore; representatives from sister plants; Valspar corporate representatives and Kathy Morgan, chairman of the Newton County Board of Commissioners.