New Maryland Law Codifies VPP

"There is a lot of momentum behind VPP nationally and in the states," said Mike Maddox, VPPPA's executive director. "Few issues bring labor and management – and Democrats and Republicans – together like VPP."

Maryland's governor, Larry Hogan, has signed a bill passed unanimously by the state's General Assembly that codifies its Voluntary Protection Program. Hogan signed the bill into law on May 4. The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) reported this action makes Maryland the fourth state, following Indiana, Virginia, and Arizona, to pass legislation embracing voluntary compliance as a permanent part of its workplace safety picture.

California launched its VPP in 1978 and OSHA adopted the program in 1981. VPPA has grown since then to encompass 2,200 sites and 700 local unions, covering 1 million workers nationally. Participating sites reduce workplace injuries and illnesses and enjoy improved morale and stronger labor-management relations, according to VPPPA, which is hosting its Safety+ 33rd Annual National VPPPA Safety & Health Conference in New Orleans Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

Twenty-six states operate their own occupational safety and health enforcement programs, and these states are expanding their VPP programs and enacting laws to make them permanent, according to the association. "There is a lot of momentum behind VPP nationally and in the states," said Mike Maddox, VPPPA's executive director. "Few issues bring labor and management – and Democrats and Republicans – together like VPP."

The association reports North Carolina's House of Representatives also has passed a VPP Act that is heading to the state Senate, while the U.S. Congress is considering a measure, H.R. 1444, to accomplish this on a national basis.

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