National News Release USDL: 01-277
August 27, 2001
Contact: Stuart Roy
Phone: (202) 693-4650
CHAO: PUT VOLUNTARY PROTECTION PROGRAM INTO LAW
Reducing Injuries, Protecting Employees Is The Goal
NEW ORLEANS -- Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao today told participants at the 17th Annual Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association (VPPPA) conference in New Orleans that she supports legislation to codify OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) under the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act.
"VPP has earned a permanent place in OSHA's mandate," the Secretary told 2,000 representatives of companies participating in OSHA's premier partnership program. "This is a leading example of how employers, employees and government can work together. Because, in the end, protecting employees is the work of us all."
Since taking office, Chao has advocated prevention and education, not just after-the-fact enforcement, as a key to reducing workplace injuries and illnesses. This is a step toward advancing that principle.
Chao applauded VPP participants for their commitment to workplace safety and health and willingness to draw other sites into VPP through a mentoring program established by the VPPPA. She announced that OSHA and the VPPPA have agreed to work together to double participation in the VPP among small businesses.
"From large multinational companies to single site, family-run businesses, protection programs can benefit all eligible employers-including small business owners," she said.
Under the new initiative focused on small businesses, OSHA will help find workplaces interested in participating. VPP companies will mentor the candidates by modeling excellence, answering questions and helping the small companies complete the application form to participate.
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References: Remarks to 17th Annual VPPPA Conference by:
Secretary Of Labor Chao
Asst. Secretary Henshaw
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