Carolyn Bryden is considered a “go to” employee at Delta’s Customer Engagement Center in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area. In 2013, she took on a new project: Helping the center earn a top workplace designation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Today, that hard work is paying off, as OSHA is naming the facility a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star site.
“This has been a huge project to coordinate and I thoroughly enjoyed helping our team become Delta’s 20th facility to earn this designation,” said Bryden, a Reservation Sales Customer Experience specialist. “It makes you feel great when you know you’re doing a good job and creating a safer, healthier workplace.”
Delta is the only major airline recognized with OSHA’s VPP Star status, and its 20 VPP Star locations across the U.S leads the industry. Less than 1 percent of more than 10 million U.S. worksites share this distinction.
The results have been impressive. At Delta’s 20 VPP Star sites, the rate of on-the-job injury and illness is far lower than the industry. Delta’s 1.45 per 100 employee on-the-job injury rate at VPP locations is a fraction of the scheduled air transportation industry rate of 8.2. At the Dallas-Fort Worth center, the three-year average rate is a miniscule 0.23.
More than 10 percent of Delta’s 80,000 employees work in a VPP Star facility. The 700 employees at the Customer Engagement Center in Dallas-Fort Worth are the latest additions.
“We are honored to achieve this respected distinction based on our employees’ commitment to making health and safety an important priority,” said Charisse Evans, Vice President – Reservation Sales and Customer Care. “I am proud of our dedicated colleagues throughout our division who continue to exceed customers’ expectations every day while also conducting facility inspections, driving safety communications, and leading health and wellness initiatives.”
Leading Delta’s participation in OSHA’s VPP program is the Corporate Safety team.
John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance, explained, “Our employees strive to enhance Delta’s overall safety culture every day. It’s the Delta culture that makes this possible.”
VPP is not an award, but an acknowledgement of success and commitment to continual improvement in the airline’s occupational safety management system.
To meet VPP requirements, stations must complete a safety and health analysis as well as an intensive on-site inspection by OSHA staff. Bryden explained that a lot of hard work and coordination was needed by the entire Dallas-Fort Worth team. Management provides visibility, communicates safety and health policies, and supports employee involvement.
Delta began participating in the VPP program in 2001, when its Atlanta Technical Operations facility became the first aircraft maintenance base to earn Star site status. Other locations with Star status include facilities in Atlanta; Augusta; Albany, N.Y.; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Colorado Springs; Dayton; Denver; Jacksonville; Melbourne, Fla.; Memphis; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Savannah; St. Louis and Washington, D.C.; and wholly owned subsidiary DAL Global Services locations at Colorado Springs and Jacksonville.