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- Nationwide consistency in OSHAís administration of VPP.
- To ensure fair and consistent nationwide operation and implementation of
VPP, follow the VPP Policies and Procedures Manual, CSP 03-01-003, April 18,
2009 and the VPP Federal Register Notice, 74 927, January 9, 2009. Current
modifications to these procedures are being reviewed.
- Communication with applicant/participant concerning VPP approval.
Policies and Procedures Manual: Chapter 6, Onsite Evaluations
Implement new policy: Effective immediately, the VPP policy of the onsite
evaluation team sharing with applicant/participant representatives the teamís
approval recommendation is rescinded. The team will not discuss its
recommendation unless it first obtains approval from the Regional
Administrator. The team will not provide applicant/participant with a copy of
its draft report unless it first obtains approval from the Regional
- The Regional VPP Manager must ensure that the Regional Administrator is
briefed on any 90-day items and their completion before the Regional
Administrator makes participation decision/recommendation.
- The team will continue to verbally share with site personnel information
on hazards found and their elimination or control, safety and health
management system strengths and deficiencies, and suggested worker safety
and health improvements.
- Improving quality and documentation of OSHA actions following a fatality
at a VPP-approved site.
Review and make needed improvements in Area Office and Regional Office actions
and documentation following a fatality, catastrophe, serious injury, or other
significant event at a VPP site. VPP Policies and Procedures Manual:
Chapter 2, Responsibilities; Chapter 8, Enforcement Activity at VPP Worksites
- Ensure that copies of internal written communications; notes documenting
oral communications, both internal and between OSHA and the participant; and
pertinent information relating to the event, its causes, and OSHA actions
taken are placed in the participant file, including a summary of enforcement
actions with final disposition or contested status. IMIS information from
related enforcement actions should also be placed in the participant file,
e.g., citations and penalties issues.
- Ensure that all required reports are properly prepared and submitted in
a timely manner. (See, for example, Chapter 8, Sections V.C.; VI.A; VII; and
- Determine appropriate action vis-ŗ-vis VPP participation and, when
warranted, submit a Regional Administrator recommendation of termination to
the Assistant Secretary. If a decision ultimately is made by the Assistant
Secretary to terminate the VPP participant, ensure that the required
procedure for termination is adhered to and documented in the participant
file. Document decision and rationale and maintain in the Regional Office
VPP participant file and the Area Office enforcement file and submit
documentation to National Office. (Chapter 7, Section VIII.)
- Ensure DCSP-OPR is immediately informed when the Region learns of a
fatality/significant event. Keep DCSP-OPR informed via email of significant
contacts and actions following the fatality/significant event. Updates to
include: conference call with participant, enforcement results (citations,
penalties), VPP onsite review and date, request for withdrawal and final
disposition. Direct the email to the Director DCSP with a cc to the Director
OPR and the OPR Regional Liaison.
- Regional response when a Star participantís TCIR and/or DART rate exceeds
The instruction in the VPP Policies and Procedures Manual, Chapter 6,
Section VII.A.3. was modified by the January 2009 Federal Register
Notice at Section VIII.B.3., which reads:
Whenever a 3-year rate (either the TCIR or the DART rate) of a Star Program
participant exceeds the 3 most recent yearsí national averages published by
BLS, at the discretion of the Regional Administrator or other appropriate OSHA
official, the participant may be required to develop an agreed upon 2-year
rate reduction plan.
Take action as follows when a VPP participantís 3-year rates exceed VPP
- If appropriate, OSHA may make an assistance visit to help the
participant develop the plan.
- The plan may be developed in conjunction with needed corrections to
deficiencies within the safety and health management system that have resulted
in OSHA placing the participant on 1-year conditional status. (See VII.C.1.b.)
- OSHA may lift a participantís conditional status before completion of the
rate reduction plan.
- If, after 2 years, a participantís rates have not returned to acceptable
levels, the participant will be asked to withdraw from VPP. Failure to
withdraw will result in termination.
- During reapprovals and upon receiving annual submissions, the Region must
conduct an analysis to determine whether a Star participantís excessive 3-year
rates warrant a 2-year rate reduction plan and, when the excessive rates are
accompanied by safety and health management system deficiencies, imposition of
1-year conditional status. Any communications or work notes relating to this
analysis should be made part of the participant file. Should a decision be
made not to take action, the rationale must be documented in the participant
- As appropriate, the participant file should document any assistance visits,
the development of an agreed upon 2-year rate reduction plan, imposition of
1-year conditional status, participant progress reports submitted to the
Region, plan/status, and final disposition.
- At the completion of a 2-year period of rate reduction (or earlier if
warranted), the Region must determine whether the Star participant has
returned its rates to acceptable levels. If rates continue to be above the
acceptable level for Star participation, the Region must ask the participant
to withdraw from VPP. Failing withdrawal, the Region must institute and
properly document termination procedures.
- At the completion of a 1-year conditional period, see #5, below.
- Notify DCSP-OPR via email when a participant is placed on a 2-year rate
reduction plan or a 1-year conditional status and when such plan/status is
completed to the satisfaction of the Region. Direct the email to the Director
DCSP with a cc to the Director OPR and the OPR Regional Liaison.
- Regional response when a VPP onsite evaluation team determines that a Star
participantís safety and health management system no longer meets all Star
requirements. VPP Policies and Procedures Manual: Chapter 6, Onsite
Take action when the onsite evaluation teamís reapproval report recommends
1-year conditional status and specifies goals for needed improvements in the
participantís safety and health management system:
- See Chapter 6, Section VII.A.2. and Section VII.B. Ensure that the Regionís
participant file contains documentation of a 90-day deferral period and the
participantís satisfactory completion of 90-day items and commitment to
maintain a Star quality system; imposition of conditional status; and
participant progress reports.
- At the end of a 1-year conditional period, an onsite review team must return
to the site/Designated Geographical Area to determine whether the participant
has maintained its safety and health management system at Star quality. After
considering the teamís recommendation, the Regional Administrator must submit
a recommendation to the Assistant Secretary. That recommendation must be to
- Remove conditional status and return the participant to full Star status, or
- Terminate participation.
- Ensure that the Regionís participant file contains documentation of any
actions and correspondence related to the participantís conditional status.
- Notify DCSP-OPR via email when a participant is placed on a 1-year
conditional status and when the status changes. Direct the email to the
Director DCSP with a cc to the Director OPR and the OPR Regional Liaison.
- Review and verification of rates submitted with participantsí annual
self-evaluations. VPP Policies and Procedures Manual: Chapter 6, Onsite
- Review each annual self-evaluation for continued compliance with VPP
requirements. Take appropriate action when VPP deficiencies are identified.
Document deficiencies in the participant file. Notify DCSP of actions taken on
- Whenever a VPP team conducts an onsite reapproval evaluation, the team must
not only review injury and illness data and recalculate 3-year rates (Chapter
6, Section III.B.1.a.), but also must compare the rates verified onsite with
the rates reported in the participantís most recent annual self-evaluation.
- If the team finds any discrepancy between verified rates and the rates the
participant has reported in its most recent annual self-evaluation, the team
must inform the participant and recommend that the participant revise its
records, including the self-evaluation.
- The Region must notify DCSP-OPR of appropriate changes to the annual VPP
summary data. Corrections should be submitted via email to the Director OPR
and the OPR VPP data coordinator.
- Adherence to Medical Access Order (MAO) requirements. VPP Policies and
Procedures Manual: Chapter 6, Onsite Evaluations
Review the Medical Access Order requirements. (Chapter 6, Section II.B.5).
Take action as follows:
- Establish a Regional MAO tracking system to help ensure all MAOs are
requested and received prior to conducting VPP onsite evaluations.
- To ensure adequate time for the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and
Emergency Management, Office of Occupational Medicine to process an MAO
request, submit the request form at least three weeks prior to the scheduled
- Maintain a copy of the MAO request in the applicant/participant file.
- Indicate on the updated VPP documentation whether the MAO was requested and
also if the MAO was: 1) received prior to the onsite evaluation; 2) received
during the onsite evaluation; or 3) not received in time for the onsite
- Timeliness of VPP onsite evaluations. VPP Policies and Procedures Manual:
Chapter 6, Onsite Evaluations
Implement ways to ensure greater Regional adherence to evaluation timeframes
- Submit monthly the VPP Activity Report Form (VPP Log) to provide status of
VPP applications in the Region.
- Generate reports from the VPP Automated Data System (VADS) or the Regionís
data system to track the timely conduct of onsite evaluations in the Region.
Take appropriate action to schedule overdue onsite evaluations.
- Notify DCSP-OPR via email of decisions to postpone onsite evaluations,
including rationale. The email should be addressed to the Director DCSP, the
Director OPR, and the OPR Regional Liaison.
- Documentation regarding onsite evaluations scheduled outside normal
timeframes must be placed in the participant file.
- Internal Controls.
Update the Regional audit process:
- Regions must review their current audit procedures and documentation and
update the audit criteria, in coordination with the Directorate of Evaluation
and Analysis, to monitor the policies and procedures described in #1-8 above.
- VPP Worksheets.
- When the revised VPP worksheets are final and approved, Regions must use
them on all VPP onsite evaluations.