C.R. Meyer, a general contractor based in Oshkosh, Wis., is the first company to achieve "Star" status under OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Challenge Pilot.

The program was designed to help companies improve their safety and health management systems by meeting VPP recognition criteria. C.R. Meyer joined the Challenge Pilot in November 2004 and graduated in August 2005.

C.R. Meyer joined a select group of about 1,550 worksites nationwide that have earned VPP status. VPP companies achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below other companies in their industry.

In qualifying for "Star" status, the company verified that it had implemented programs and procedures beyond those required under OSHA standards with extensive involvement by both management and employees. Its written safety and health management system had to effectively address worksite hazards by identifying and tracking them to ensure their correction and control. Its safety and health training programs had to ensure that employees understand occupational hazards and how to control them.

"We congratulate C.R. Meyer on being the first workplace from the Challenge Pilot to earn acceptance into the VPP 'Star' family," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "Their outstanding efforts have included management commitment to safety and health and employee involvement in safety and health programs."