LAKE CHARLES, LA. (Nov. 09, 2006)- Firestone Polymers’ plant in Lake Charles, LA., has been awarded Federal OSHA Voluntary Protection Program STAR status for outstanding performance in the area of worker health and safety. Voluntary Protection Program Coordinator Bruce Stark spoke and presented the award to CEO, Chairman and President of BFS Diversified Products, LLC., Mike Gorey and plant manager Jim Mathis who accepted on behalf of the Lake Charles team.
“We’re pleased to have achieved this honor, which is confirmation of our pledge to continuously improve quality and safety,” Gorey said. “This award is a testament to our teammates’ dedication. Making world-class products while at the same time putting a strong focus on health and safety improvements underscores the commitment of the many hardworking teammates that live, work and play in the Lake Charles community.”
The OSHA Voluntary Protection Program STAR award is given to companies that have comprehensive safety and health programs with injury rates at or below half the industry’s national average. As a STAR (Safety Through Accountability and Recognition) participant, the Lake Charles plant teammates have designed and implemented outstanding safety and health processes that exceed the strict safety standards of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
Lake Charles was also recognized for achieving a million man-hours without a lost-time injury.
"Firestone Polymers, LLC – Lake Charles Facility has demonstrated excellence in effective safety and health management,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Frank Strasheim in Dallas. “Their outstanding efforts include achieving an injury and illness total case incident rate that is 53 percent below the national average for their industry.”
The selection of Lake Charles for the Voluntary Protection Program Star award was based on a detailed application and a rigorous on-site review by a team of safety and health specialists from the Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
“To receive the Voluntary Protection Program STAR is a terrific achievement,” Mathis said. “It is gratifying to know we have a team of individuals in Lake Charles who are committed to being team players. To be one of the safest manufacturing facilities in the nation is a great achievement that we can all be proud of. Without the dedication and commitment to safety by our entire team at all levels, this accomplishment would not be possible.”
“Lake Charles is representative of our company’s focus on health and safety. Our Warren County, TN and Aiken County, SC facilities are the only two tire plants in the United States to have ever achieved OSHA VPP STAR status. The company’s Kingstree, S.C., building products plant also recently joined this elite group,” said Bridgestone Americas Safety and Health Director Bob Walker.
“This says a lot about our family of businesses. We are really proud of all of our Lake Charles teammates for pulling together and making this a reality,” said Walker.
About BFS Diversified Products, LLC:
BFS Diversified Products, LLC (BFDP), based in Indianapolis, Ind., is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc (BSAH). BFDP is responsible for BSAH’s non-tire businesses including building and industrial products, synthetic and natural rubber, and fibers and textiles.
About Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.:
Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of the Bridgestone Corporation. BSAH, through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies also produce air springs, roofing materials, synthetic rubber and industrial fibers and textiles and operate the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers.