ASSE Supports Federal Legislation Making OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program Law

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) stated its support for bipartisan federal legislation, the ‘Voluntary Protection Program Act’ (S. 807, HB 1511), to place the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) into law. In letters sent to the Senate and House sponsors of the bill, ASSE officials noted, “VPP is unique in encouraging employers not simply to meet regulatory standards but to take active responsibility for safety and to seek results beyond the minimum.” ASSE also supports provisions requiring a monitoring system with specific performance goals for VPP and prohibiting payment from an employer to participate. 

According to OSHA,  VPP recognizes employers and workers in 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 averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and, management commitment and worker involvement. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo onsite evaluations by a team of safety and health professionals. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the program. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

In a letter to Senators Michael B. Enzi and Mary Landrieu and Representatives Thomas E. Petri and Gene Green, ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP, noted that VPP has  succeeded in encouraging both employer and employee commitment to safe and healthy workplaces. 

“Our members typically are the individuals responsible for establishing VPP for employers.  From that front line experience, they know that VPP is effective in helping employers achieve and remain committed to achieving safe and healthy workplaces,” Hill wrote. “As VPP is implemented in an organization, they consistently witness the dynamic adoption of the risk-based approach to managing safety and health risks that VPP encourages.  They also witness significant organizational improvements in communications and cooperation between management and workers over safety and health. VPP is unique in encouraging employers not simply to meet regulatory standards but to take active responsibility for safety and to seek results beyond the minimum.”

ASSE notes that the average VPP worksite has a ‘Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART)’ case rate that is 52 percent below the national industry averages.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, VPP sites have ‘Total Case Incident Rates (TCIR)’ 54 percent below industry averages. The National Safety Council has reported that, in 2007, VPP sites saved private industry $300 million and federal agencies $59 million.

In supporting language in the bill barring any Administration from requiring payment from an employer to qualify for or participate in VPP, ASSE said requiring payment from VPP employers will only result in fewer employers engaging with OSHA and, so, fewer employers implementing injury and illness protection programs, less cooperation between employers and employees in achieving safety and health, and, ultimately, an OSHA that will be more hard pressed to meet its mission of helping to protect workers.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - April 2019

    April 2019


      Taking the Guesswork Out of De-Energizing Industrial Equipment 
      Four Simple and Effective Ways to Avoid Digital Eye Strain
      PPE the Automotive Industry Needs to Invest In
      Eliminate 10 Fire Hazards That May Be in Plain Sight
    View This Issue