Palmetto Star Voluntary Protection Program
This program, which is voluntary, provides recognition to qualified employers who exceed the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in providing their workers a safe and healthy worksite. Any employer in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 31-33 may choose to apply.
Palmetto Star sites are not expected to be perfect, but they are expected to effectively protect their workers from the hazards of the workplace through their safety and health systems. A Palmetto Star site is one that has proven it is able to function independently of OSHA and is self-sufficient in its ability to control hazards at the worksite.
To qualify, an applicant must demonstrate management's commitment to safety, assess hazards that may be present within the workplace, maintain a system for hazard correction and control, provide employees safety and health training, and assure employee participation in safety and health programs. Finally, the company must have a total injury/illness incident rate and a total lost workday incident rate that is 50 percent or below the state average for the applicant's industry for each of the last three years.
Several benefits associated with participation in this program may include:
- Increase in morale
- Increase in productivity
- Increase in quality
- Improvement in safety and health programs
- Reduction in injuries and illnesses
- Possible reduction in costs/increased profits
Approval for participation is determined by the OSHA Deputy Director. By approving an application for participation in the Palmetto Star, OSHA recognizes that the applicant is providing, at a minimum, the basic elements of ongoing, systematic protection of workers at the site.
The symbols of recognition are certificates of approval and flags. The participant also may choose to use program logos on such items as letterhead or awards for employee contests. Each approved site will have a designated OSHA contact person to handle information and assist with requests. OSHA will continue to investigate valid, formal employee safety and health complaints, significant chemical spills/leaks, and all fatalities/catastrophes.
These programs are available to South Carolina employers and employees free of charge. The goal is to make South Carolina workplaces safe and healthy. For more information, contact the Office of Outreach and Education at (803) 896-7744.