Thompson Falls Dam receives prestigious OSHA safety recognition

Published on August 15, 2016 by Alyssa Michaud

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recently recognized staff at NorthWestern Energy’s Thompson Falls Dam in Montana for their efforts to strengthen workplace safety.

The OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) operates a system through which work sites can obtain VPP Star Facility status after undergoing a rigorous multi-day safety audit. The Thompson Falls hydro facility first received Star Facility status in 2011, and was recently re-approved, making the operation one of only nine sites in Montana to receive the distinction.

“It’s an honor to recognize the hard work of our Thompson Falls employees and their ownership of our safety culture through this VPP program,” John VanDaveer, manager of hydroelectric generation at NorthWestern Energy, said. “With VPP core values of continuous improvement to our work areas and establishing a strong safety culture, we have seen major improvements in both areas through this program. Our thanks go out to the Thompson Falls employees and everyone within our company for their support and commitment to the VPP program.”

OSHA’s VPP audits can only be undertaken once every five years. A successful audit is a marker of exemplary safety performance at a work site, with only 0.03 percent of businesses across the U.S. receiving Star Facility status.