By: Brian Storjohann
If you work for a company that is governed by OSHA, DOT, FMCSA, etc. you know that safety is extremely important and part of the job every day. For those companies that are safety conscious, practices and procedures are established and it can be seen in the work done each day that safety is an integral part of the operations. But what if your company wants to do more? What if your company wants to go above and beyond what the regulations state and be a standout company as it relates to safety?
Look no further than OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Several years ago, OSHA wanted to recognize and promote those companies that demonstrated excellent safety programs and practices. In 1982, after California began a similar, experimental program, OSHA formally announced the establishment of the VPP and approved the first worksite under this new program. While this program was initially established for the private industry, OSHA expanded the program to federal agencies and worksites in 1998.
So what is the program? According to OSHA’s website, the programs “recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics average for their respective industries.” As you may have guessed, because this is such an elite group of worksites and companies, OSHA puts each applicant through a very thorough onsite evaluation to get a better understanding of that companies established programs, practices and procedures, and to observe the company employees to ensure they are living up to the standard as well. In order to become a VPP participant, it is an all hands effort to get there and it’s an all hands effort to maintain the VPP status.
Brian Storjohann is the VP Research & Development for eRisk Solutions.