OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
May 26, 2004
Contact: Gina Harps
STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE
May 26 Launch Held in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today held a ceremony in Washington, DC to launch two Voluntary Protection Program pilots -- OSHA Challenge and VPP Corporate -- that will expand programs to promote the safety and health of thousands more workers across the nation. Senior officials from participating companies and organizations attended today's ceremony in Washington, DC.
"We want to continually improve OSHA's cooperative programs and provide opportunities for more employers and employees who want to work with OSHA to create safer and healthier workplaces." said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Encouraging many more facilities to continuously improve safety and health is the most effective way to assure compliance and further reductions in injuries, illnesses and fatalities."
Fifteen companies, associations, and a Federal agency will participate in the pilots based on their commitment to improve workplace safety and health programs. OSHA will evaluate both pilots after the first year.
OSHA Challenge is designed to reach employers in all industry groups who are committed to improving their safety and health management systems and want to pursue recognition for their improvements. Open to private or public-sector employees, Challenge provides a roadmap to improve performance and ultimately to VPP Merit or Star. The Challenge program outlines the requirements needed to develop and implement effective safety and health management systems through incremental steps. A number of companies and associations have stepped forward as Challenge Administrators to work with employers as they move through the steps of the Challenge program. Charter Administrators are Associated Builders and Contractors, The Associated General Contractors of America, Black & Veatch, Construction Safety Council, Curtis Lumber Company, Independent Electrical Contractors, NEA-The Association of Union Constructors, and Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association.
VPP Corporate is designed to eliminate barriers faced by some corporations who want to implement VPP company-wide. To participate, corporations agree to strive for corporate-wide VPP implementation and to support the programs through mentoring and outreach activities. Streamlined application and onsite evaluation processes are used to facilitate implementation." Charter Participants are Dow Chemical Company, General Electric Company, Georgia Pacific Corporation, International Paper, Johnson & Johnson, Maytag Corporation, and United States Postal Service.
For detailed information on the new pilot programs, see the attached fact sheets.
The Voluntary Protection Programs promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. VPP worksites save millions each year because their injury and illness rates are more than 50 percent below the averages for their industries. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have implemented exemplary safety and health management systems.
OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. 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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