OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
OSHA Trade Release
Monday, September 8, 2003
Contact: Frank Meilinger, (202) 693-1999
Administrator Tells Participant Conference
WASHINGTON -- A new line up of program initiatives will greatly expand the benefits of the Voluntary Protection Program, protecting the safety and health of thousands more workers across the nation, Assistant Secretary of Labor John L. Henshaw told attendees of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participant's Association (VPPPA) conference today at the association's 19th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
"Expanding VPP allows us to reach out to more employers across the country, wherever they are on the ladder of safety and health excellence," said Henshaw. "These new initiatives will add to our existing portfolio of VPP programs, greatly multiply program participation, and markedly improve workplace safety and health across this country."
The three new VPP initiatives will not affect OSHA's current VPP program, including the STAR and Merit levels of recognition. "We will hold true to the rock-solid principles that underlie the VPP program. These will not be diluted," added Henshaw.
VPP Challenge will be a flexible program designed to reach and assist companies who are willing to make a commitment to excellence, but need assistance in developing effective safety and health management systems. VPP Challenge will be an ideal vehicle for increasing small business participation in VPP by providing more focus and support for small business owners to implement VPP principles in their facilities. Employers will be given incentives, including recognition, for incremental improvements in their management systems.
VPP Corporate will streamline the application review and onsite evaluation processes for corporations that have made a commitment to VPP. The initiative will focus on eliminating redundancy in the application requirements for sites from the same corporation. The initiative will also require participating corporations to provide mentoring and outreach to other corporations.
The VPP Construction initiative will be designed to meet the unique characteristics and needs of the construction industry. The initiative aims to provide the mobile construction workforce and short term projects with the same opportunity for recognition that fixed site employers receive. OSHA intends to develop and launch VPP Construction next year.
VPP is OSHA's premier cooperative program. VPP worksites save millions each year because their injury and illness rates are more than 50 percent below the averages for their industries. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management systems. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health programs.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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