Commissioner C. Ray Davenport announced today that Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group in Chatham, Virginia has been approved as a Virginia STAR Worksite under the Virginia’s Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), the program’s highest level of recognition. The facility was honored with their first Certificate of Recognition issued on November 12, 2019.

“This outstanding achievement in occupational safety and health has come through the dedication and hard work of Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group’s management and employees”, said Commissioner Davenport. "I commend the Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group facility for embracing the cooperative spirit of VPP, and congratulate them on their hard earned recertification as a Virginia STAR Worksite."

Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for its employees is demonstrated by its very low injury and illness rates. The Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group facility has a total three-year average for the TCIR (Total Case Incident Rate for injuries and illnesses) of 0.61compared with a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national rate of 1.60 for this industry, representing a TCIR rate 62% lower than the national average for the industry. The site's three-year average DART rate (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred injury and illness cases) is 0.61, compared with the 0.90 national rate, which is 32% below the national average for the industry.

As part of the recognition for achieving Virginia STAR status under VPP, the worksite is entitled to fly the Virginia “STAR Worksite” flag. The Chatham site is the only Sartomer Americas, Arkema Group Virginia STAR site in Virginia and currently the fifth for Sartomer Americas, Arkema Group in the United States. VPP includes two levels of participation, Merit and STAR, with STAR being the highest. Similar voluntary protection programs are conducted in other states across the country.

The process for reaching Virginia STAR status is extensive to ensure that only the very best programs qualify. Since the inception of Virginia’s VPP in 1996, only 70 STAR worksites have been recognized, and only 37 Virginia companies currently retain the STAR designation. The Sartomer Chatham Plant, Arkema Group has set a standard of excellence that is second to none.

In Virginia VPP, a cooperative relationship is formed between the VOSH program, the employer, and employees which include the agreement of company leaders to operate exceptional safety and health management systems that meet a rigorous set of occupational safety and health criteria. Employers agree to voluntarily participate in the program and to directly involve employees in all aspects of the company’s safety and health management systems. Requirements include an extensive application process, submission of written safety and health policies and procedures, demonstration of successful implementation of those programs through injury and illness rates that are below the national average for the employer’s industry, and an intensive weeklong inspection by a team of VPP experts.

Businesses that participate in VPP substantially improve safety and health protection for thousands of Virginia employees through cooperative efforts to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents. Virginia STAR sites regularly report decreased bottom line costs associated with dramatically reduced injury and illness rates (an average of over 60% below the respective industry average), and improved productivity and employee morale. Reducing private sector employer costs associated with injuries, illnesses, and fatal accidents enhances a company’s

Page 2 of 3

economic viability and competitiveness, and increases available capital for reinvestment, expansion, and new hiring.

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry offers two voluntary protection recognition programs, the Virginia Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) generally for larger employers and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for businesses of 250 employees or fewer. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry office closest to you at or for VPP - contact Milford Stern, VPP Program Manager at (540) 562-3580, ext. 123, or; and for SHARP – contact Jennifer Rose, Cooperative Programs Director at (804) 786-7776, or

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry also offers On-Site Consultation Services to help employers better understand and voluntarily comply with VOSH standards. Priority is given to high hazard workplaces with 250 or fewer employees and all services are offered to employers at no cost. On-Site Consultation Services helps employers identify and correct potential safety and health hazards through walk-through surveys (without citations or penalties), provide abatement advice, provide on-site training, and provide program assistance to develop safety and health programs. Additional information about On-Site Consultation Services can be obtained by contacting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry office closest to you at or by contacting Jennifer Rose, Cooperative Programs Director at (804) 786-7776, or

The Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program is financed with 50% state funds and 50% federal funds in the form of a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under §23(g) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Virginia State Plan, at the time of initial publication of this document on October 1, 2019, is funded by a grant of $3,921,300 federal funds, which constitutes 48% of the State Plan budget. Zero percent, or $0.00 of the State Plan budget, is financed through non- governmental sources.