What follows are instructions for applying to the VPP mobile workforce way to participate. We encourage you to involve employees and managers in completing your application. After OSHA reviews and accepts your written submission, we will schedule an onsite evaluation.
If you are in a state that operates its own OSHA-approved program, check with your state agency to learn specifics regarding its VPP application process.
There is some paperwork required in the application process, but we encourage you to use as much existing material as possible. Please provide a list/index of all materials you choose to attach to your application. Most worksites have found that, in the process of applying, they gain a greater understanding of worker protection and discover ways to improve their safety and health management system.
VPP reviewers don't look for a single correct way to meet VPP requirements. They want to see a system that works for you. Some successful safety and health management systems involve substantial written documentation, and others do not. Small businesses, in particular, often are able to implement excellent safety and health processes with relatively little documentation. If you need more information, you can contact your nearest OSHA VPP Manager or Coordinator through OSHA's Regional and Area Offices. In addition to answering your questions, your Regional VPP Manager or Coordinator can refer you to VPP participants in your area. We encourage you to contact participants. They are happy to share their experience.
If you need more information, you can contact your nearest OSHA VPP Manager or Coordinator through OSHA's Regional and Area Offices. In addition to answering your questions, your Regional VPP Manager or Coordinator can refer you to VPP participants in your area. We encourage you to contact participants. They are happy to share their experience.
OMB Control Number: 1218-0239 Expires 01-31-2018
Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 20 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Directorate of Cooperative and State Program U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., Suite N3700 NW, Washington, DC 20210-4537 and reference the OMB Control Number 1218-0239.
Provide information for each union separately, in accordance with established guidelines (See Appendix E Union Support for Participation)
Injury and Illness Performance
See Appendix A Definitions for explanation of terms; Appendix B for instructions on calculating injury and illness rates; Appendix C for an alternative calculation for qualifying small employers; and Appendix D for VPP's policy on phasing in contractor rates.
Each applicant will develop a unique Participation Plan that includes a discussion of safety and health management system elements that differ in substance or emphasis from the basic VPP safety and health management system requirements. See Appendix G for an example of a Participation Plan.
If, at the time of application, a majority of your employees, including temporary employees and contractor/subcontractor employees, are represented by unions, you must provide to OSHA signed documentation that the unions either support VPP participation or are not opposed to participation. See Appendix E for more information about this requirement.
At non-union sites, OSHA will verify employee support during onsite evaluations when the OSHA VPP team interviews employees.
VPP applications must include a signed statement affirming the following:
You will comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and will correct in a timely manner all hazards discovered through self-inspections, employee notification, accident investigations, OSHA onsite reviews or enforcement inspections, process hazard reviews, annual evaluations, or any other means. You will provide effective interim protection as necessary to keep employees safe while corrections are being made. Federal applicants also agree to comply with Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1960-Basic Program Elements for Federal Employees.
Correction of Deficiencies
You will correct any work project/site deficiencies related to compliance with OSHA requirements and identified during any OSHA onsite review. The correction deadline will depend on the nature of the deficiency, will be determined by the OSHA VPP Team Leader, and in no instance will exceed 30 days.
System Implementation and Oversight
The systems and procedures of the VPP safety and health management system are in place and effectively maintained at all your work projects/sites, and management provides effective oversight to assure VPP-quality safety and health protection throughout the DGA.
Following approval, you will continue to meet and maintain the requirements of the elements.
All employees, including newly hired employees, temporary employees, and contract/subcontractor employees, will have the VPP explained to them before they perform any work. This explanation will include employee rights under VPP and under the OSH Act or 29 CFR 1960.
Protection from Discrimination
You will protect employees engaged in safety and health activities, including those specifically given safety and health duties as part of your safety and health management system, from discriminatory actions resulting from their activities/duties, just as Section 11(c) of the OSH Act and 29 CFR 1960.46(a) protect employees who exercise their rights.
Employee Access to Information
Employees will have access to the results of self-inspections, accident investigations, and other safety and health management system data upon request. For a unionized workforce, this requirement may be met through employee representative access to these results.
To enable OSHA to determine initial and continued VPP approval, you will maintain and make available for OSHA review the following information:
Each year by February 15, you will submit to your designated OSHA VPP Contact the following information: Mobile Workforce Participants Injury and Illness Rates
Whenever a significant organizational or ownership change occurs, you will provide OSHA within 60 days a new Statement of Commitment signed by both management and, when applicable, any authorized collective bargaining agents.
Collective Bargaining Unit Changes
Because the percentage of employees represented by unions within the DGA may change, you will report to OSHA, as part of your annual self-evaluation, any change in this percentage that may have the effect of changing your union support requirement. Whenever a change occurs in the authorized collective bargaining unit representative, you will provide OSHA within 60 days a new signed statement indicating that the new representative supports VPP participation.
Whenever OSHA needs to visit a particular work project that you do not control, you will inform and gain written permission from the host/controlling employer for OSHA to enter. You understand that OSHA, prior to its visit, will give reasonable notice to the host/controlling employer.
VPP Safety and Health Management System
Describe your written safety and health management system, including safety and health policies, procedures, systems, and programs. See Appendix A Definitions for an explanation of how the term safety and health management system is used in VPP.
Program descriptions must contain pertinent information that clearly explains the management and administration of the program, such as responsibilities and types of documentation maintained. Include those systems applicable to operations considered highly hazardous (e.g., Lockout/Tagout, Confined Space, Process Safety Management) and those considered non-routine.
Please provide a list/index for any supporting documentation you choose to attach to the written description of the program.
Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
Management must clearly demonstrate its commitment to meeting and maintaining the requirements of the VPP and taking ultimate responsibility for worker safety and health. Attach a copy of your top-level safety policy specific to your operations within the DGA.
Authority and Responsibility
Goals and Planning
Describe how you notify employees about site participation in the VPP, their right to register a complaint with OSHA, and their right to obtain reports of inspections and accident investigations upon request. Methods may include new employee orientation, intranet or email if all employees have access, bulletin boards, toolbox talks, or group meetings.
Contractor/Subcontractor Safety and Health
Attach any project/site maps you believe may be helpful to the application reviewer.
Pre-screening and Oversight
Describe the process used at the corporate level to ensure and verify that projects/sites within the DGA are effectively implementing and maintaining your safety and health management system policies and procedures.
Hazard Analysis of Routine Jobs, Tasks, and Processes
Hazard Analysis of Significant Changes
Explain how, prior to activity or use, you analyze significant changes to identify uncontrolled safety and health hazards and the actions needed to eliminate or control these hazards. Significant changes may include non-routine tasks and new processes, materials, equipment, and work projects/sites.
Employee Reports of Hazards
Accident and Incident Investigations
Hazard Prevention and Control
Applicants and participants must be in compliance with any hazard control program required by an OSHA standard, such as PPE, Respiratory Protection, Lockout/Tagout, Confined Space Entry, Process Safety Management (PSM), Bloodborne Pathogens, etc. VPP applicants and participants must periodically review these programs (most OSHA standards require an annual review) to ensure they are up-to-date.
Applicants and participants who are covered by the PSM standard must additionally submit answers to all applicable questions found in the VPP PSM Application Supplement A. (Other Supplements will be used during annual self-evaluations and OSHA onsite approval/reapproval visits. See PSM Supplements in Appendix A Definitions)
Work Practice Controls
Personal Protective Equipment
Describe and provide examples of required personal protective equipment your employees/subcontractors use and what PPE the OSHA team members will need to bring to your work projects/sites.
Enforcement of Safety and Health Rules
Describe the procedures you use for disciplinary action or reorientation of managers, supervisors, and other employees/subcontractors who break or disregard safety and health rules.
Occupational Health Care Program
Safety and Health Training
Injury and Illness Performance
See Appendix A for definitions of terms; Appendix B for instructions on calculating injury and illness rates; Appendix C for an alternative calculation for qualifying small employers; and Appendix D for VPP's policy on phasing in contractor rates.
TABLE 1: Mobile Workforce Injury and Illness Rate Calculations for All Work Projects/Sites within the DGA
These tables are best viewed on tablets, notebooks, or desktop computer screens.
|TABLE 1: Mobile Workforce Applicant/Participant Recordable Nonfatal Injury and Illness Case Incidence Rates for All Work within the Designated Geographic Area (DGA)|
|Year||Total Work Hours||Total Number of Injuries||Total Number of Illnesses||Sum of Injuries and Illnesses||TCIR for Injuries and Illnesses||Total # of Injuries Involving DART||Total # of Illnesses Involving DART||Sum of Injury & Illness Cases Involving DART||DART Rate|
|3 Years Ago (annual)|
|2 Years Ago (annual)|
|Last Year (annual)|
|3 Year Totals & Rates|
|Percent above or below BLS year ______ National Average (compare both your 3-year rates with the single most advantageous year)|
1-Year Conditional Goal. A target for correcting deficiencies in safety and health management system elements or sub-elements identified by OSHA during the onsite evaluation of a Star participant. Such deficiencies, which indicate that a site no longer fully meets Star requirements, must be corrected within 90 days, and the participant must then operate at the Star level for 1 year for the participant's conditional status to be lifted. Failure to meet this requirement will result in termination from VPP.
2-Year Rate Reduction Plan. A strategy employed whenever a Star participant's 3-year rates rise above the national average and call into question the participant's continuing VPP qualification. The plan is developed jointly by the participant and OSHA and must be approved by the Regional Administrator. It must identify and address any safety and health management system deficiencies related to the high rates, correction methods, and timeframes, and must include quarterly participant progress reports.
90-Day Items. Compliance-related issues that must be corrected within a maximum of 90 days, with effective protection provided to employees in the interim.
Annual Self-Evaluation. A participant's yearly self-assessment to gauge the effectiveness of all required VPP elements and any other elements of the participant's safety and health management system.
Applicable Contractor. An employer who has contracted with a General Industry, Maritime, or Federal Agency (non-construction) site-based applicant/participant to provide specified services and whose employees:
The concept of applicable contractor does not include temporary employees or other contractor employees who are regularly intermingled with a site-based applicant/participant's employees and under direct supervision by management. Moreover, construction applicants/participants do not break out this category of employee. Therefore, applicable contractor reporting requirements do not apply to applicants/participants whose main activity is construction, regardless of the chosen way to participate.
Accepted Application. An application that has been reviewed by the Regional Office -- or the National Office for certain corporate and Demonstration Program applications -- and found to be complete. Also referred to as a completed application.
Backup Team Leader. A member of an onsite evaluation team who provides assistance to the team leader and can assume his/her duties when necessary.
Combined Workforce. An applicant/participant's regular workforce employees, including temporary employees, plus all contractor/subcontractor employees. Mobile workforce applicants/participants and all construction applicants/participants must use combined workforce data when calculating and reporting injury and illness rates.Compliance Officer. A Federal compliance safety and health officer (CSHO).
Compressed Approved Process. A VPP onsite evaluation procedure that OSHA may choose to employ for site-based Star participants seeking reapproval and meeting specified criteria. A CAP evaluation examines all the VPP elements assessed during a standard onsite evaluation but places particular attention on changes since the last evaluation and the most recent annual self-evaluation.
Contract Employees. Those individuals who are employed by a company that provides services under contract to the VPP applicant/participant, usually at the VPP applicant/participant's worksite.
Corporate Participation. See Way to Participate, below. A category of participation available to large corporations that provides streamlined application and approval procedures. To qualify, the corporation must (1) commit to bringing into VPP multiple site-based facilities and/or worksites within Designated Geographic Areas (DGAs); (2) utilize a standardized safety and health management system organization-wide; and (3) employ pre-screening processes at all applicant facilities/DGAs before applying for VPP approval and ongoing oversight once approved.
Days Away, Restricted, and/or Transfer Case Incidence Rate (DART rate). The rate of all injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, and/or job transfer. This rate is calculated for an individual worksite, all worksites within an applicant/participant's Designated Geographic Area (DGA), or all worksites of an employer for a specified period of time (usually 1 or 3 years).
Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs (DCSP). The OSHA Directorate responsible for coordinating and overseeing OSHA's VPP and other cooperative programs, located in OSHA's National Office.
DCSP Regional Coordinator. A DCSP VPP staff member who is assigned to coordinate VPP-related regional activities, including the review and processing of reports and resolution of policy issues.
Demonstration Program. The program within VPP that enables employers with VPP-quality safety and health protection to test alternatives to current VPP eligibility and performance requirements. If a Demonstration Program is judged successful, its alternative ways to achieve safety and health excellence may lead to changes in VPP criteria.
Federal Register. The official Federal government publication, issued by the Government Printing Office (GPO), in which OSHA announces the philosophy and criteria for VPP approval and participation in a public notice commonly referred to as the VPP Federal Register Notice or the Federal Register Notice.
General Contractor. A construction site owner or site manager who controls construction operations and has contractual responsibility for assuring safe and healthful working conditions at a worksite.
Injury/Illness Rates. Numerical rates that:
Mentoring. The assistance that a VPP participant provides to another employer to prepare that employer for VPP application and/or to improve that employer's safety and health management system.
Merit Goal. A target for improving one or more deficient safety and health management system elements for a participant approved to the Merit program. A Merit goal must be met in order for a participant to achieve Star status.
Merit Program. The program within VPP designed for employers that have demonstrated the potential and commitment to achieve Star quality, but that need to further improve their safety and health management system and/or injury and illness performance. OSHA gives a Merit Program participant specified Merit goals that it must meet in order to achieve Star status and continue within VPP.
Mobile Workforce Participation. See Way to Participate, below. A category of participation available to employers whose work is characterized by short-term operations and employees who move physically from one work project to another; or resident contractor operations performed at two or more fixed worksites. Distinguishing features of mobile workforce participation include a Participation Plan unique to the applicant/participant and a Designated Geographic Area (DGA).
Onsite Assistance Visit. A visit to an applicant/participant by an OSHA VPP Manager, Compliance Assistance Specialist, or other non-enforcement personnel, to offer assistance including, for example, help with the VPP application, a records review, and/or general observations about the employer's safety and health management system.
Onsite Evaluation. A visit to an applicant/participant worksite or headquarters by an OSHA onsite evaluation team to determine whether the applicant/participant qualifies for initial approval, continued participation, or advancement within VPP.
Onsite Evaluation Report. A document written by the OSHA onsite evaluation team and consisting of the site report and site worksheet. This document contains the team's assessment of an applicant/participant's safety and health management system and its implementation, a review of injury and illness rates, and the team's recommendation regarding approval of the applicant or reapproval of the participant to VPP.
Onsite Evaluation Team. An interdisciplinary group of OSHA professionals and sometimes other government employees who conduct onsite evaluations. The team normally consists of a team leader, a backup team leader, safety and health specialists, and other specialists as appropriate.
Outreach. Assistance and information a VPP participant provides to prospective VPP applicants, other employers, employer and employee organizations, and the general public, for the purpose of promoting safety and health principles and practices and VPP. Outreach activities include, but are not limited to:
Participation Plan. A unique, written strategy submitted to OSHA by a mobile workforce applicant as part of its VPP application. A participation plan:
A sample Participation Plan is included in the Mobile Workforce Application Instructions.
Pre-screening. An internal process, applicable to the mobile workforce and corporate ways to participate, to ensure and verify that sites/DGAs:
Process Hazard Analysis (PHA). For the purpose of VPP, a PHA is an organized and systemic effort to identify and analyze the significance of potential hazards associated with the processing or handling of highly hazardous chemicals.
Process Safety Management (PSM). A reference to OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.119 and 1926.64, which covers all employers who either use or produce highly hazardous chemicals exceeding specified limits.
PSM Level 1 Auditor.
Recommendations. Suggested improvements noted by the onsite evaluation team that are not requirements for VPP participation but that would enhance the effectiveness of the applicant/participant's safety and health management system. (Compliance with OSHA standards is a requirement, not a recommendation.)
Resident Contractor. For the purpose of VPP, resident contractor refers to a company that:
Safety and Health Management System. For the purposes of VPP, a method of preventing employee fatalities, injuries and illnesses through the ongoing planning, implementation, integration, and control of four interdependent elements: Management Leadership and Employee Involvement; Worksite Analysis; Hazard Prevention and Control; and Safety and Health Training.
Site-Based Participation. See Way to Participate, below. A category of VPP participation characterized by fixed, ongoing or long-term work operations at a single facility. It is available to employers of private-sector fixed worksites in general industry and the maritime industry; Federal-sector fixed worksites; and certain long-term construction worksites. These employers must control site operations and have ultimate responsibility for assuring safe and healthful working conditions. Site-based participation also is available to resident contractors at site-based VPP participants; and to resident contractors who are part of a larger organization approved under the corporate way to participate and who operate at a non-participating fixed worksite.
Small Business. A company having no more than 250 employees at any one facility, and no more than 500 employees nationwide.
Special Government Employee (SGE). An employee volunteer from a VPP participant or corporation who is knowledgeable in safety and health management system assessment, formally trained by OSHA in the policies and procedures of the VPP, and determined by OSHA to be qualified to perform VPP onsite evaluations. An SGE may participate as a team member on VPP onsite evaluations. The OSHA directive governing the VPP Special Government Employee Program is CSP 03-01-001, Policies and Procedures Manual for Special Government Employee (SGE) activity conducted under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program, Jan. 4, 2002.
Star Program. The program within VPP designed for participants whose safety and health management systems operate in a highly effective, self-sufficient manner and meet all VPP requirements. Star is the highest level of VPP participation.
State Plan. A state-operated occupational safety and health program that has received approval and partial funding from Federal OSHA. The states that operate approved State Plans are commonly referred to as State Plan states.
Team Leader. The OSHA staff person who coordinates the OSHA onsite evaluation team and ensures the performance of all evaluation activities.
Temporary Employees. Employees hired on a non-permanent basis by the applicant/participant. Temporary employees are grouped with regular hires for purposes of calculating employer injury and illness rates.
Termination. OSHA's formal removal of a VPP participant from the program. Alternatively, the act of ending a Demonstration Program.
Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR). A number that represents the total nonfatal recordable injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time employees. This rate is calculated for an individual worksite, all worksites within an applicant/participant's Designated Geographic Area (DGA), or all worksites of an employer for a specified period of time (usually 1 or 3 years).
VPP Activity Log. The monthly log of VPP activity that is submitted to DCSP by the Regional Offices.
VPP Annual Data Spreadsheet. The yearly report prepared by the Regional VPP Manager and submitted electronically to DCSP that provides information on the annual TCIR and DART rates of participants.
VPP Application Status Report. A monthly report prepared by the Regional VPP Manager and submitted to DCSP that provides information on VPP applications, including the number of applications pending in the Region and the number of applicants whose onsite evaluation has not yet begun.
VPP Approval Ceremony. An event planned by the approved participant and normally held at the participant's approved work location or headquarters, where a representative from OSHA recognizes the participant's achievement and, for initial program approvals, presents the VPP plaque and VPP flag.
VPP Automated Data System (VADS). A database that includes information on approved VPP participants (under Federal or State Plan jurisdiction) and VPP applicants (under Federal jurisdiction).
VPP Manager. The OSHA employee directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the VPP in a particular OSHA Region.
VPP Participant Representative. The applicant/participant employee designated as the primary contact with OSHA for matters concerning VPP.
Way to Participate. One of three primary ways an employer may seek VPP approval. These are: site-based, mobile workforce, and corporate. The principles and features of VPP-quality safety and health management systems are generally consistent for all three ways to participate. There are some differences, however, in the VPP requirements for system details and implementation and the manner in which OSHA evaluates applicants/participants.
Withdrawal. Decision by an applicant/participant to discontinue its VPP application process or its approved participation.
Worksite. For VPP purposes, a worksite is a location where work is performed by employees of an employer.
Calculate your DGA incidence rate for days away from work, restricted work activity, and/or job transfer (the DART rate) for each of the past 3 years and for the 3 years combined. Enter in Column I.
To calculate your DART rate, use the same formula as in 5 above, except N = Sum of the number of all recordable injuries plus illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, and/or job transfer in a given time frame.
Some applicants, usually small companies with limited numbers of employees/contractors/ subcontractors and/or hours worked, may use an alternative method for calculating their 3-year incidence rates. The alternative method allows the employer to use the best 3 out of the most recent 4 years' injury and illness experience. To determine whether you qualify for the alternative rate calculation method, do the following:
OSHA expects to receive a 3-year combined workforce rate from each applicant. However, if you do not maintain rate information for your contractors/subcontractors, you may still apply using the following temporary phase-in policy:
OSHA expects each applicant to determine whether the requirement for union support applies. Calculate the percentage of your employees (including temporary employees) and contractor/subcontractor employees throughout the proposed DGA who are represented by unions at the time of your application. Then use the chart below.
|Mobile Workforce - Union Support for VPP Participation|
Majority of employees are represented by unions
Signed statement(s) required. Must be obtained from enough unions to represent a majority of employees.
Some employees but less than a majority are represented by unions
No statement of union support required.
No employees are represented by unions
Requirement not applicable.
When, at the time of application, a majority of an applicant's employees and contractor/ subcontractor employees are represented by unions, the applicant must provide to OSHA written documentation of either union support for VPP participation or union non-opposition to participation.
The percentage of employees represented by unions may change. Therefore, an approved participant must report to OSHA, as part of its annual evaluation, any change in this percentage that would have the effect of changing the participant's union support requirement.
Appendix F: Example of the Phase-in Policy for a Mobile Workforce Employer Who Applies to VPP in 2010
An applicant is a framing contractor (specialty trade contractor) who works within the DGA in the capacity of subcontractor. The applicant worked on numerous projects over the past 3 years (2007 through 2009).
For some of these jobs the applicant used only employees regularly employed and paid directly by the company. At other jobs it used company employees and also contracted with other carpenter contractors (tiered subcontractors) who performed tasks directed by the applicant.
Under the terms of the mobile workforce phase-in policy, for projects worked during 2008 and 2009, the applicant must submit combined workforce estimated rates that combine the hours and recordable injuries and illnesses of regular employees plus subcontractor employees in the DGA.
For the projects worked during 2007, the applicant did not maintain sufficient contractor/ subcontractor injury and illness data required by VPP. Therefore, the phase-in policy allows the applicant to submit only the rates that reflect the experience of its regular employees, including temporary employees (highlighted in Sample Table below) in the DGA. (However, if the applicant had maintained sufficient contractor/subcontractor data for 2007, he would have been required to submit combined workforce data for all 3 years.)
|SAMPLE TABLE for a 2010 VPP Mobile Workforce Applicant Using the Phase-In Policy for Reporting Injuries and Illnesses|
Total # of Cases
# of Cases Involving Days Away from Work, Restricted Activity or Job Transfer
3-Year Rates (2007-2009)
BLS National Average for 2007 (NAICS: 238130)
The applicant achieves VPP approval during 2010. The phase-in policy expires in January 2011. Therefore, for the annual submission to OSHA due by February 15, 2011, the participant will be required to accurately report 3 years of injury and illness data and rates (2008 through 2010) for its combined workforce of regular employees and contractor/subcontractor employees.
Appendix G: Sample Applicant Participation Plan
PARTICIPANT PLAN for XYZ BUILDING CONSTRUCTION, INC.
XYZ Building Construction, Inc. is very pleased to have this opportunity to apply for participation in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs under the Mobile Workforce way to participate. In the following pages we provide a snapshot of our company. We have attempted to highlight aspects of our operation that differ - in substance or emphasis -- from the basic requirements of the VPP safety and health management system as we understand it. We also discuss features of our safety and health efforts that we think are particularly important because of the substantial hazards our employees encounter at construction sites.
Designated Geographic Area (DGA)
We are applying for participation at the division level. We understand that our designated geographic area (DGA) can be a single OSHA Area Office, multiple OSHA Area Offices within a Region, an entire State, or an entire Region. While XYZ operates primarily within Region V, we prefer to limit our initial participation. Therefore, we request that our DGA be two Area Offices, the Milwaukee and Madison areas. XYZ Building Construction anticipates petitioning Region V's Regional Administrator at a future time to expand our DGA beyond the two Area Office boundaries initially requested.
Unique Aspects of XYZ's Mobile Workforce Safety and Health Management System
Subcontractor Oversight. XYZ generally operates as a general contractor, and we utilize many subcontractors on our projects. As such, XYZ's role in the pre-bidding and pre-construction phase is more important than in a work environment where most employees are regular hires and not temporary or subcontracted employees. In addition, the company's role in overseeing the safety of subcontractors -- and also the safety of our own employees working alongside subcontractors -- is more critical than in a setting where few or no subcontractors may be used. Therefore, we expect the OSHA team's VPP review will place special emphasis on how XYZ emphasizes safety in the planning phase of each project. Additionally, we expect the team will place special emphasis on XYZ's hazard analysis prior to initiating construction jobs and subsequent phases of these projects. We anticipate a review that will carefully examine our subcontractor pre selection process; safety performance criteria; and role in monitoring and tracking hazards, injuries, and illnesses to ensure that subcontractors are working safely at the worksites and following our required procedures.
Hazard Recognition and Control as a Non-controlling Employer. We also work as a subcontractor at some large sites and must have policies and implemented procedures to ensure the safety of our employees in those situations where we do not control the site. Where XYZ performs work as a subcontractor, it sometimes discovers hazards created by others not under XYZ's control. Therefore, we expect the OSHA team will focus on how well trained our unsupervised employees are in hazard recognition and company policies and procedures that ensure interim protections under such circumstances. These policies and procedures include XYZ's policy that employees have a right to refuse work if they observe serious hazards and, if necessary to ensure their protection, have a right to leave the worksite. A communication procedure also is in place to notify the appropriate company officials of any uncontrolled hazards that our employees discover, regardless of who controls the project or who created the hazard.
Whether XYZ employees are working at a site controlled by XYZ or controlled by another employer, we require them to conduct daily inspections of their workplace/area and of equipment to be used that day. We expect that this, too, the OSHA team will assess.
Employee Involvement. XYZ and OSHA acknowledge that there may be some differences in the way a mobile workforce implements strong employee participation in safety and health. XYZ's emphasis will be to build strong labor-management communication in the form of supervisor and employee participation in toolbox meetings and training, safety audits, and incident investigations. XYZ agrees to operate an effective safety and health orientation program for all employees including new hires and subcontractor employees when necessary.
Baseline Hazard Analysis. XYZ and OSHA acknowledge the need for an alternative method for the VPP requirement of industrial hygiene and safety baseline surveys, that is, baseline hazard analysis to identify hazards associated with specific work environments. In our typical work environments, these hazards may include air contaminants, noise, and lead. XYZ's employees work in environments where conditions change from phase-to-phase of a project and from one job to the next. Construction work conditions are very different from the relatively static work environment of manufacturing settings. Therefore, we will be employing alternative, more appropriate methods for analyzing hazards associated with each project. These will include preconstruction environmental studies, phase analyses, and task analyses (JSAs).
XYZ anticipates employing subcontractors for jobs that may require specialized expertise and equipment, for example, lead removal, asbestos removal, etc. In these projects, XYZ's role will be to screen, monitor, and review the subcontractors' work. XYZ has established historical databases with baseline information for common environment, equipment, materials, and practices. This baseline information enables XYZ to implement hazard controls as necessary. If the operations, equipment, or materials used on a job vary significantly from one of our databases of historical information, we agree to conduct a new hazard analysis prior to beginning that task to ensure that appropriate hazard controls are in place and that any required sampling or monitoring is performed.
Emergency Response. Because of the frequent change in construction personnel and ever-changing site logistics, XYZ will place strong emphasis on employee site orientation and training for emergency response and evacuation. In addition, XYX will endeavor to hold annual emergency response evacuation drills at all sites. Normally, XYZ will try to maintain a muster point, but this may change as conditions warrant. On small sites, our method of notification utilizes the buddy system, that is, simple verbal communication as a means to evacuate. The senior person on the worksite normally will be responsible for a head count. This person also will be responsible for submitting a completed drill evaluation form to the safety committee. On larger sites, supervisors carry small disposable air horns, and we instruct them to issue three small blasts several times, when feasible, as the signal to evacuate. Subcontractors are required to participate in all XYZ evacuations. Site personnel complete and share with the safety committee an evaluation form following all drills and any true emergency evacuations.
When XYZ employees work as subcontractors, they often must follow the emergency response and evacuation procedures of the host employer. XYZ agrees to maintain communication with the host employer in all matters relating to safety and health, including emergency response. XYZ will ensure that its employees are kept informed of any host employer procedures that differ from XYZ's own procedures.Back to Top
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