WHO:  Missouri Slope, Bismarck, North Dakota   

WHAT:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program Star Level Designation

BACKGROUND: OSHA has recognized Missouri Slope, operator of the largest nursing home in North Dakota, for its commitment to safety and health programs by elevating the facility as a “Star” Level VPP site. With 527 workers, Missouri Slope is a 192-bed facility in Bismarck and the healthcare industry’s only VPP participant in the agency’s Mountain region. OSHA first approved the facility as a VPP site in June 2007.

In evaluating the company’s Star status, OSHA noted the facility’s active ergonomics program and its proactive approach in protecting the safety and health of patients and caregivers. The facility’s Washington campus project provides the latest ergonomic lift-assist devices and stringent housekeeping practices, and has prohibited manual lift and transfers of patients, a common cause of caregiver injuries, for many years.

“Missouri Slope’s employees and managers provide their residents with compassionate care and take significant care to keep employees safe and healthy. Their leadership sets an example for excellence in employee safety and health for the healthcare industry in our region,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Jennifer S. Rous in Denver. “Star Level designation in the Voluntary Protection Program is the highest safety achievement a company can earn from OSHA. Missouri Slope’s commitment to employee safety and health is clearly evident at all levels of this workplace.”

OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and promote effective worksite-based safety and health management systems. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented comprehensive safety and health management systems. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have created exemplary worksite safety and health management systems. 

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