Back to 2009 OSHSPA Report
Vermont enforces several local emphasis programs, including trenching, falls, residential construction, and powered industrial trucks. Compliance officers must conduct an inspection whenever they encounter a trench or a site that has workers exposed to fall hazards. Compliance officers are also required to evaluate construction work zones when they encounter them.
Project WorkSAFE: The Vermont Legislature passed legislation requiring VOSHA and Project WorkSAFE to work with the forestry and forest products industries to develop safety and health awareness programs that comply with standards and best practices.
Workers’ compensation: Vermont employers saw a 13 percent workers’ compensation premium decrease in 2009, which follows a 4 percent decrease in 2008.
VOSHA conducted a webinar for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce that used the $afety Pays expert advisor to show employers the benefits of an aggressive Safety and Health Program. Participants were shown how to use the information on the VOSHA and OSHA Web sites. Future webinars will be targeted to specific industry groups.
Traffic safety: In a partnership with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, the Department of Labor added traffic safety to the workplace safety strategic plan. The goal is to educate employers about the economic benefits of avoiding traffic crashes and help employers reduce their business costs. Project RoadSAFE distributes bi-monthly electronic newsletters to employers. The program emphasizes defensive driving, mandatory seat belt use, and avoiding distractions such as cell phones and pagers.
Project WorkSAFE: VOSHA and Project WorkSAFE worked with the Vermont Apprenticeship division to provide the 10-hour course for construction apprentices and trained the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, which helps the state operate and maintain the state parks. VOSHA and Project WorkSAFE also have an alliance with two high school vocational technical centers, providing industry-specific training for the students based on their area of interest.
VPP: During 2008, VOSHA conducted two GMVPP re-evaluations and approved IBM as a Star site. The staff worked closely with District 7 of the Vermont Agency of Transportation to finalize their GMVPP application. The evaluation took place in January 2009, and the district was approved as a Star site. Vermont has seven VPP Star sites including Entergy/Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power, Energizer, General Electric Aviation, IBM, Ben and Jerry’s, United Water, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation. VOSHA also held a GMVPP conference to assist employers interested in VPP and to introduce them to current VPP companies. VOSHA has a VPP Challenge program with one participant now.
State police alliance: Vermont has an alliance with the state police that initially covered work zone safety and high-visibility garments. Since then, the state police has developed a respiratory protection program for its arson investigators who have been medically evaluated and fit tested, and have also been trained in confined space safety and fall protection.