After 33 years of success, an initiative that has protected over 1,000,000 workers at 2,200 worksites could finally become law.
Sponsored by Todd Rokita of Indiana, the newest Voluntary Protection Program Act will bring to law a program designed “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions […] by encouraging employers and employees to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards […] and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions.”
Created in 1982, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs recognize and partner with businesses and worksites that show excellence in occupational safety and health. Sites are committed to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards.
VPP participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent, and control occupational hazards to prevent employee injuries and illnesses. As a result, the average VPP worksite has a lost workday incidence rate at least 50 percent below the average of its industry. OSHA removes participants from programmed inspection lists.
For more information, please read the Voluntary Protection Program Fact Sheet.
Why it Matters for Employers
Employers would be rewarded for doing something they should be doing anyway—protecting employees.
If this legislation passes, employers looking to participate in the voluntary protection program will need to submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.
Further, to gain and maintain status as a Star, Merit, or Demonstration program member, worksites will need to meet three general requirements:
- Possession of an effective, ongoing safety and health program.
- Ongoing cooperation
- Continued Good Performance
By successfully being named as a VPP site, employers are exempt from programmed inspections. This puts safety in the hands of the employer while still protecting employees under OSHA law.
It All Starts with an Effective Safety and Health Program
To even gain consideration to become a VPP employer, your safety and health program must be on point. This is where we can help.
Optimum Safety Management can help you to develop an initial and ongoing safety program that will protect your employees from injury while providing you increased productivity and profitability. Learn more about the services we provide and what you can do to protect your workers in 2015 and beyond.
Contact us today using this handy contact form or by calling our safety hotline at 888-70-Safety (888-707-2338).