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Power Systems' Schenectady Facility Becomes Largest GE Plant to Receive OSHA'S Highest Safety Award

Published 05-30-00

Submitted by General Electric Company

GE Power Systems' Schenectady
facility has received the federal Occupational Safety and Health
Administration's (OSHA) highest recognition for safety and health management,
the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status.
GE Schenectady is one of fewer than 450 out of approximately 6.2 million
work sites throughout the United States to have earned VPP recognition, and
the largest heavy manufacturing site in the state of New York to achieve Star
status.
The VPP Star award was recently presented during a ceremony at Power
Systems' Schenectady facility. Customers, vendors and GE officials and union
representatives, as well as local and state dignitaries, including New York
State Senator Hugh Farley and New York State Assemblymen Paul Tonko and James
Tedisco, attended the event. James Dillon, Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYS
Labor Department, said, "This is a landmark for health and safety programs at
Power Systems' Schenectady facility. We congratulate GE for showing the way
in this vital effort."
Following the implementation of VPP in Schenectady in 1995, employee
health and safety teams were formed to identify potential issues and develop
corrective actions. Jeff Connelly, General Manager, Steam Turbine Generator
Global Supply Chain, said, "The VPP process has been very much a collective
team effort between members of the unions and management personnel to enhance
and re-energize our safety programs. All of the employees at the One River
Road complex really pulled together to reduce our site injury and illness
rates and improve EHS process procedures."
Through their efforts, the Schenectady site, which occupies 4.3 million
square feet of space (628 acres), has reduced its injury and illness rate by
75% percent from 1995 to 1999. The complex encompasses 25 major buildings,
including the world's largest steam turbine manufacturing plant, Building 273.
Recent investments in the Schenectady complex total $66 million for both site
refurbishment and manufacturing upgrades.
According to Trish Vopelak, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Manager,
"The significant reduction in our site's injury and illness rate shows that
our processes and procedures have been working consistently over time to drive
improvements. However, without the dedication and hard work of everybody
involved, we wouldn't be where we are."
VPP requires participating companies to implement and maintain
comprehensive management systems with a high level of employee involvement to
prevent and control potential safety and health hazards. Qualifying companies
must meet OSHA standards as a minimum and add their own more stringent
standards where necessary for effective employee protection. Participants'
illness and injury rates must be below the industry average for at least three
years to qualify for Star status. VPP Star sites are re-audited by OSHA every
three years.

About GE Power Systems
GE Power Systems (http://www.gepower.com) is one of the world's leading
suppliers of power generation technology, energy services and energy
management systems. The $10 billion GE business serves customers through a
global network of offices and service centers, and has the largest installed
base of power generation equipment in the energy industry. GE provides
turnkey equipment, service and management solutions across several industries,
including utilities, independent power producers, oil and gas, and
industrial/commercial customers.

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General Electric Company

General Electric Company

GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified technology and financial services company. GE operates in more than 150 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. GE works on things that matter. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE's approach to corporate citizenship and to business are driven by a common understanding of the role we can play….the best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest global challenges.

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