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On February 27, 2008, OSHA and the Region V Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) hosted a conference to promote OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction. Based on previous positive experiences with OSHA's VPP in Construction Demonstration in Region V and the other construction-related demonstrations, OSHA launched this nationwide initiative to work for both companies that typically function as controlling general contractors and companies that perform specialty trade functions – regardless of their size. VPPPA wanted to promote the Demonstration's key objective of creating greater opportunities for employers and employees in the construction industry to participate in VPP and significantly strengthen worker protection.
Conference speakers from the construction industry included Jon Anderson, Senior Health and Safety Program Leader, General Electric (GE) Healthcare, and Fred Rideout, Director of Risk Management, CR Meyer and Sons – both VPP companies in the state of Wisconsin.
Why VPP in Construction? – Participant Testimonials
The conference was held to promote the importance of OSHA's VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction and increase communication and information-sharing in the industry. Four OSHA Area Directors from the state of Wisconsin and the Region V VPPPA Coordinator from Chicago were in attendance. Patti Phillips of GE Healthcare Waukesha South Operation, Waukesha, Wisconsin, represented the Region V VPPPA. GE sponsored the event at the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Conference participants responded favorably to the conference. Examples of some of the participants' testimonials included the following:
"Clearly, being in VPP is a selling point when bidding jobs. There's more and more emphasis on a contractor's safety record."
"I want to get our injury rate down. We were just disqualified from bidding a job because our injury rate was too high."
"I appreciate the personal invitation. It shows that OSHA recognizes that our company is a leader in safety."
"VPP is just what our company needs."
Origin: Region V, Chicago Regional Office
Industry: Construction (NAICS Code 23)
Source and Date: Nancy Mugavero, Region V, Chicago Regional Office April 2008