VPPPA Executive Director R. Davis Layne

VPPPA Unruffled by OSHA's VPP Shift

In a news release titled "OSHA's VPP Will Continue to Thrive" and a video, the association's executive director -- an OSHA veteran himself -- says it will weather this tempest.

ASSE, OSHA and Labor Department leaders, and others have noted a shift in OSHA's priorities in the FY2011 budget submitted by President Obama. The $117 billion DOL budget includes $573 million for OSHA, which would be a $14 million increase, but part of the $10 million added for enforcement would come from money that has been devoted to the Voluntary Protection Programs. The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, Inc. (VPPPA) released a reassuring video message today in response to concerns the change had raised.

In the brief video, VPPPA Executive Director R. Davis Layne -- a former acting director of OSHA -- says the association will work with the agency to ensure VPP continues to succeed. He notes Congress can restore the money, and many VPP sites have contacted their congressional representatives to voice their concerns. "During my 35 years with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, I've seen this happen many times," Layne says. "Support for government programs comes and goes, but in the end, it all evens out. I'm confident that this will be resolved."

VPPPA, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, represents more than 2,000 member sites in VPP programs overseen by OSHA, the Department of Energy, and state plans. Its 26th annual conference will take place Aug. 23-26, 2010, at the Orlando World Center Marriott Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

"VPP is more than a recognition program; it establishes a safety and health culture at your work site," Layne says. "We encourage you to keep up your efforts of continuous improvement. VPPPA regional and national conferences offer excellent opportunities to share best practices to improve safety and health for your worksite, keeping the American workforce safe and healthy, which is the only thing that counts at the end of the day."

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