OSHA will hold a public meeting July 17 in Washington, D.C., to solicit ideas for strengthening its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). The agency is “seeking to reshape VPP so that it continues to represent safety and health excellence, leverages partner resources, further recognizes the successes of long-term participants, and supports smart program growth.”
Questions OSHA would like stakeholders to address at the upcoming session include:
- What can the agency do to enhance and encourage the efforts of employers, workers, and unions to identify and address job hazards through VPP?
- How can the agency support increased participation in VPP while operating with available resources and maintaining the program’s integrity?
- How can OSHA modify VPP to enhance the efforts and engagement of long-term participants?
- How might the agency modify the Corporate VPP program for greater leverage and effectiveness?
- How can the agency further leverage participant resources such as Special Government Employees?
VPP recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national averages for their industries. Management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
To participate, employers must submit an application and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. Sites are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain VPP status.
Those who are unable to attend the meeting in Washington may provide comments until September 15 via an online docket: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=OSHA-2017-0009.