Marking a first for an Arizona solar plant, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) Consultation Department presented the Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s Mesquite Solar 1 plant a “STAR Site” through the Voluntary Protection Program “VPP” on Oct. 16, 2015. This was the first time a solar plant in Arizona has been recognized as a VPP “STAR Site” by ADOSH. Companies awarded the “STAR” designation demonstrate exemplary and comprehensive safety and health management systems through evaluation.
During the ceremony, Mesquite Solar 1 plant was awarded the “STAR” designation and was presented with the VPP plaque and flag. Jessie Atencio, assistant director and consultation and training program manager for ADOSH, spoke on the significance of a VPP achievement and its importance to the safety of others. VPP is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) highest program of recognition across all United States OSHA organizations.
“Mesquite Solar 1 is among the best of the best in the State of Arizona and across the nation,” said Atencio. “This is the first time the designation has been given to an Arizona solar power plant.”
Currently, only 37 Arizona companies out of more than 135,000 are VPP “Stars.” To qualify for VPP status, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo an onsite evaluation. VPP participants and sites earning the STAR Site designation are re-evaluated every three to five years.
ADOSH operates under an approved plan with the U.S. Department of Labor to retain jurisdiction over occupational safety and health issues within Arizona, excluding mining operations, Indian Reservations and federal employees. This jurisdiction encompasses approximately 2.1 million employees and 130,000 public and private establishments. More information on ADOSH, Consultation Partnership Programs and the Industrial Commission of Arizona is available at http://www.ica.state.az.us/.