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OSHA ‘Star’ Plant: Cintas’ First

CHANDLER, Ariz.—Cintas’ facility here is its first industrial laundry to achieve “Star” status in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). According to the state Div. of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), out of some 140,000 employers in Arizona, only 33 facilities operated by 24 companies have achieved the VPP Star status. The program requires rigorous attention to management systems aimed at reducing injury rates below industry averages, while involving OSHA, company executives and employees at all levels in a common drive to enhance safety.

Cintas CEO Scott Farmer congratulated the Chandler staff for its efforts to make safety a top priority. “We have a lot of Cintas operations that have a great safety track record and they have a great safety environment,” said Farmer. “They understand it; it’s part of the culture. But only one Cintas operation will ever be the first to be certified with VPP Star certification. That’s the Chandler, Arizona, operation. So I say congratulations to everybody.”

Farmer added that the Chandler crew epitomizes the spirit of continuous improvement and dedication to safety he wants to see companywide. “You all are living and breathing the Cintas safety vision,” Farmer said. “I think you all know what that is. That means that every Cintas operation is injury free. It means that every Cintas partner is continuously working to improve safety. And it means that Cintas is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in safety and health performance. That’s our vision, that’s what we’re trying to achieve and you’re leading the way.”

Cintas Senior Vice President Dan Braun, who oversees safety programs for 29,000 Cintas employees in 420 facilities across North America, said the company currently has 74 other plants that are working toward VPP status. These include industrial laundries, depots and operations associated with the company’s first-aid and document-management divisions. In comments after the meeting, Braun pledged his company’s continued support for SafeTRSA™, the association’s safety initiative. “We stand ready to help make as big of a contribution as we can to helping our entire industry improve its safety performance and reduce its TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate),” Braun said. “When we protect the safety of employees at all TRSA member companies, we all win on a whole variety of levels. We want our company and our industry to earn a reputation of being the safest in our country and the world.”

Jon Meyers, general manager of the Chandler plant, which processes roughly 210,000 lbs. of uniforms, shop towels, mats and F&B linens per week, described gaining VPP status as a “momentous occasion for our location and our company.” He added that, “Achieving the OSHA VPP Star award has been a journey. A journey that began with personal accountability and a commitment on the part of each partner in our facility to ensure that each of us gets home every day injury free - safe to our families.”