oil tank refinery with VPP logo on it (vpp logo is a red and white swoop with the letters VPP in blue and a star after the letters, also in blue)

OSHA Opens Comments on Voluntary Protection Programs

The agency is looking to modernize the program and is seeking input from the public, it said.

This week, OSHA announced that it is turning to the public for input on the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).

The program—which was started over 40 years ago and the first site recognized in 1982—recognizes employers for their work on “safety and health management systems” and few injury and illness reports, according to its website. The highest level of recognition an employer can earn under the VPP is the star status.

According to a news release, with the goal of “moderniz[ing] and enhance[ing]” the VPP, OSHA is seeking comments from the public and stakeholders until April 14, 2023. People can comment on a variety of topics, including:

  • “Aligning the program more closely with recent occupational safety and health management practices and system standards.
  • How the program can contribute to expanding the use and effectiveness of safety and health management systems.
  • Whether and how resources and tools such as ‘special government employees,’ consensus standards, third-party auditors and other methods could serve to expand the program's capacity without compromising effectiveness and oversight.
  • Whether particular categories of hazards need special attention in the VPP certification process.”

There are also multiple questions outlined in the agency’s “Modernizing OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs” document.

Comments must be submitted on the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, Docket No. OSHA-2022-0012.

Photo credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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