Veolia’s site-based industrial cleaning operation at Valero Houston Refinery has been accepted into OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) at the Star Award level, the highest level granted. OSHA will formally recognize Veolia’s team at an upcoming ceremony for its outstanding efforts in achieving exemplary occupational safety and health systems.
“Without exception, from our C-suite to front-line personnel, each of us have made the commitment to be actively invested in safety,” said Steve Hopper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Veolia Environnement North America’s Industrial Business. “Each employee takes responsibility and accountability for the safety of themselves and their co-workers across all our worksites and facilities. This certification is greatly appreciated and valued. We view it as recognition of our commitment to and belief in our continuous improvement philosophy.”
Best practices and other valuable concepts that Veolia employees learn through participation in the VPP are shared and implemented at Veolia worksites across the country. To date, Veolia Environnement North America holds twelve Star VPP Certifications: one wastewater treatment facility, five at industrial cleaning and maintenance operations and six at hazardous and regulated waste management sites. The company also has additional sites pending certification.
During past VPP audits, OSHA has identified two Veolia programs as industry best practices, both of which are active at the Valero Houston Refinery site. They include the company’s “Act Now For Safety” program, which gives every Veolia employee not only the authority, but the obligation to correct any unsafe condition in the workplace. As a reminder, each employee carries an “Act Now For Safety” card bearing the signature of the company’s CEO.
The other best practice is the Peer-2-Peer Safety Observation & Intervention Program. This pro-active method enables active employee involvement through peer-to-peer observations to identify and eliminate at-risk or unsafe work practices and unsafe working conditions. The objective is to reduce accident and employee injury potential in the work environment and raise employee safety awareness through training, observation, intervention and correction of at-risk or unsafe work practices and unsafe working conditions.
In addition to the VPP Star achievement at the Valero Houston Refinery facility, two of Veolia’s other Valero VPP Star sites, at Valero Corpus Christi and Valero Three Rivers, have each received the Region VI VPP Star of Excellence award at the Star Among Stars award ceremony for the past four consecutive years.
Veolia (veoliaes.com) also participates in the OSHA VPP Special Government Employee (SGE) program, providing an opportunity to work in partnership and cooperation with OSHA, as well as other participating VPP members, to learn and share best practices to continuously improve safety for all.
OSHA believes continuous improvement of safety and health programs are the best way to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries. The VPP was created in 1982 to encourage industry-related facilities to strive for safety excellence. VPP sites have shown that their commitment to employee protection extends beyond the OSHA standards. Companies who achieve the VPP Star Award display injury and illness rates at or below the national average of their competitors.
Veolia site-based team at the Valero Houston Refinery facility provides vacuum and hydro-blasting services. The company has worked on-site since 2009.