News | Feb. 25, 2016

DLA Columbus recertified as “Star” worksite in Voluntary Protection Program

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime

After an extensive evaluation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over the past year Defense Logistics Agency Columbus recertified its “Star” status in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

VPP is OSHA’s most rigorous evaluation program for safety and health conditions at both private and federal work sites throughout the United States. Within the VPP program, the Star ranking represents the highest rating score. In 2007, DLA Columbus was the first activity in all of DLA and ninth in the entire Department of Defense to receive this recognition.

In a crowded auditorium at DLA Land and Maritime’s headquarters at the Defense Supply Center Columbus, DLA associates gathered to celebrate its status as one of the safest worksites in the country.

DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John King told Columbus associates that, “the most important commodity we have as an organization is our people. We’ll continue to create an environment on the installation that takes a proactive approach to the overall wellness and safety of our people.”

Installation Safety and Health Specialist Amy Manbeck and Chief of Safety and Health Division Leslie Fox both received special recognition from King for their personal contributions to earning the Star designation.
 
“We truly wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this without everyone’s team effort in joining us and following us down this path,” said Fox.

Despite receiving the recognition after more than a year’s preparation, Manbeck was quick to remind the audience not to rest on their laurels adding, “Our next recertification is in 2020!”

David Wilson, assistant area director of OSHA's Columbus Office presented King with the VPP Star flag commemorating the center’s recertification status.

While presenting the flag, Wilson said, “I can’t think of a site that deserves this more than you do.”

This award marks the third time DLA Columbus has won Star status in less than 10 years. Once a site achieves the Star designation, it is reevaluated every three to five years. In Ohio, less than 100 sites earned a Star designation during this rating period.
 
King invited safety officials onstage to accept and unfurl the new Star flag. He told the audience, “This VPP honor belongs to all DLA Columbus associates who’ve made safety an important part of their lives. Today you are without a doubt the “Stars” of this celebration.”