OSHA Official Gives Update on VPP Plans

Eliminating backlogged applications at some OSHA regional offices and instituting a national process for handling them are two goals the agency is working on.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — What Doug Kalinowski, CIH, director of OSHA's Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, called the "recalibration of VPP" at the federal agency involves a uniform process nationwide for handling VPP applications. There is no such national process now, Kalinowski said during the Labor & Management Open Forum on Aug. 28 at the VPPPA Safety+ Symposium here.

Some OSHA regions have "a huge backlog" of applications pending, some of which date back five years, he explained, adding that there is a wide disparity among the 10 regions in how fast a regional office makes the first site visit after receiving an application. Some regions average 1,200 days, while others average 90 days, he said.

"We're trying to find a uniform way to process these applications across the country," Kalinowski explained.

"VPPPA really is critical," he said. "VPPPA really taught OSHA how to make a safety and health management program work."

He said OSHA is "trying to move forward" on VPP, seeking to find out where the bottlenecks are that make the application process so cumbersome in some regions. Ultimately, he hopes to have an online application in place, he said.

"We will keep moving forward," he promised.

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