Flight operations team earns top safety award

Tri-State’s flight operations facility located at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colo., recently joined an elite group of organizations by achieving top status in the Voluntary Protection Program. The VPP recognizes companies with exemplary health and safety management systems that maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their industry.

In August, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notified Tri-State that the flight operations team had earned the prestigious safety and health award.

“You have joined an elite group of organizations that provide exemplary occupational safety and health protection and serve as models for others,” wrote OSHA assistant secretary David Michaels in a letter to Tri-State chief pilot Gary Sumner. “OSHA has learned that this approach to worker protection can save lives, reduce injuries and illnesses, and promote cooperation and communication in the workplace,” he wrote.

“This was totally a team effort by the entire department with every one of the pilots unselfishly contributing to the project and buying into the philosophy of it,” Sumner said.

Tri-State’s flight operations joins the association’s Escalante Station (Prewitt, N.M.) as a VPP facility. Escalante garnered the recognition last year and was the first coal-based generating station in New Mexico to earn the award.

VPP recognition is considered to be the top rung of OSHA compliance and recognition, and national statistics support the overwhelming success of the program. In fact, the average VPP worksite records days away and restricted job duty at 52 percent below the industry average.

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