Last Friday, (1/9/09), the U.S. Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register final changes to its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Among other enhancements, this changes allow participation by companies with mobile workforces.
The VPP, the agency’s recognition initiative for workplace safety and health excellence, will provide new options for construction contractors and other employers who may have employees at various locations. Other VPP changes for eligible organizations include a streamlined application process, outreach and mentoring, and onsite workplace evaluations.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Thomas M. Stohler said, “These program revisions will allow more companies to participate in the VPP, which has contributed to improved workplace safety. Since 2001, participation in the VPP has increased almost 200%. During that same period, there has been a 14% decrease in workplace fatalities.”
The VPP was established in 1982 to recognize employers and employees who focus on the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the implementation of effective safety and health management systems. Currently, there are 2,161 federal and state plan VPP participants. Changes to the VPP are effective May 9.