A new online portal for submitting applications to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) is now available. The new portal modernizes the application process for companies that qualify for VPP and makes it easier for candidates to start, continue, and get assistance with submitting their applications.
“Companies in the Voluntary Protection Programs go above and beyond basic OSHA requirements and strive to create a culture of safety,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “This important program comprises sites that serve as models of excellence and influence safety and health practices in all industries.”
The portal allows OSHA to review applications in real time, and help companies correct errors or omissions quickly. Applicants can use the portal to upload electronic versions of supporting documentation, and they can stop and complete their application at a later time without having to restart. Alternatively, after completing an applicant profile, they may download an application form to complete offline, and submit their application materials by mail.
OSHA developed the VPP Portal as part of the agency’s efforts to continue representing safety and health excellence, leverage resources, accommodate effective administration of VPP and support smart program growth. The agency developed the portal with input from external stakeholders and OSHA staff. Qualified companies with mature safety and health management systems can apply to VPP using the new system.
OSHA adopted VPP on July 2, 1982, to recognize cooperative action among government, industry, and labor as a means of addressing worker safety and health issues and expanding worker protection.
Ensure Worker Safety This Holiday Season
With the National Retail Federation expecting retailers to hire more than 500,000 seasonal workers and employers hopeful for a busy holiday season, OSHA reminds them not to overlook their worker’s rights to a safe and healthy workplace. With many businesses open for in-person shopping in 2021, employers must also take steps to control and prevent coronavirus spread in particular.
OSHA urges employers to properly train all workers – especially new and seasonal workers – to recognize and prevent workplace hazards. OSHA offers resources on holiday workplace safety for warehousing, delivery and retail workers. Guidance is also available for protecting retail workers, including those in high customer-volume environments, stockrooms and loading docks, and package delivery from coronavirus exposure.
“The holiday season is typically a very busy time for businesses, and just as consumer demands increase, so must an employer’s awareness of keeping their employees safe,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Safety and Health Doug Parker. “All workers – from those starting their first job to those making some extra money as a seasonal worker to those year-round employees – are entitled to a workplace free from hazards and to be trained in a language they understand to recognize and prevent hazards.”