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
Trade News Release
October 5, 2006
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced yesterday that employers in the construction industry may begin applying for participation in OSHA's newest component of its premiere cooperative program ¿ the VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction. Eligible applicants include those who operate within the construction industry and have been in continuous business for at least three years.
The initiative was first announced in July by OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke at the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Safety and Health Committee mid-year meeting in Denver. Foulke said the program "offers construction employers with mobile construction workforces and short term projects the same opportunity for recognition that fixed-site employers receive" and "recognizes those construction companies that should be held up as models of safety and health for the rest of the industry."
While the core of the new program continues on the principle of effective safety and health management systems, there are important differences as compared to site-based VPP participants. For example, applications are acceptable from a corporation, or from a division or business unit within that corporation. Additionally, companies can use an Applicant Participation Plan to note safety and health policies and procedures that differ from established VPP requirements. There is also a requirement for a prescreening/oversight process that verifies corporate policies and procedures are being effectively implemented at all worksites.
The Demonstration program involves a two-phased OSHA verification process: (1) a review of safety and health management system policies and procedures, plus management's commitment to safety and health and VPP; and (2) a visit to one or more worksites to determine the successful implementation of the corporate policies and procedures, and to verify employee involvement.
The new program is based on the agency's VPP experience as well as successes garnered through the construction-related Mobile Workforce and Short-Term Construction Star Demonstration Programs. Construction industry VPP participants in 2005 enjoyed total case incident rates (TCIR) and days away from work, restricted, or transfer (DART) rates more than 60 percent below their industry average.
Details on applying for the Demonstration program are available on OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs Web site; interested parties are also encouraged to contact OSHA's Regional VPP managers for assistance in the application process.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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