PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Covanta Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Covanta Holding Corporation and a developer and operator of large-scale, energy-from-waste and other renewable energy projects, today announced that its facility here has earned STAR status in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).
VPP STAR status is the highest honor given to worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems.
According to a statement issued by Covanta "Sites such as Covanta Pittsfield are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of federal standards and participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent and control occupational hazards to prevent injuries and illnesses."
“By achieving VPP STAR status, Covanta Pittsfield employees have joined an elite group of worksites with the very best health and safety practices. I salute this dedicated group of employees for their continuous improvement and follow through to achieve this coveted designation,” said Seth Myones, president of Covanta Americas.
The keys to health and safety success under VPP are the employee engagement and ongoing involvement in on-site health and safety program development combined with long-term commitment and support from management. VPP-level recipients routinely incur injury and illness rates that are at or below the state average for their specific industry.
According to Covanta, continuous improvement of health and safety programs is central to its corporate and workplace cultures and has lead to a majority of Covanta’s North American facilities earning the prestigious VPP STAR status. Covanta Pittsfield is one of 35 worksites in Massachusetts to have received the honor.
Covanta Pittsfield processes 240 tons per day of solid waste generated from residential and commercial operations throughout Berkshire County. Annually, the plant produces some 400 million pounds of steam as well as 3.5 million kW hours of electricity used in-house for facility operations. The steam generated daily by the Energy-from-Waste facility and used by adjacent paper company Crane & Co., avoids the use of 16,000 gallons of oil per day.
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Well Covanta may get high marks for protecting their employees from accidents but they are still burning trash and poisoning Pittsfield residents all day long. Take a look at what the EPA has to say about incinerators: