Do you have ideas on how to improve federal OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)? Then the agency would like to hear from you.
OSHA announced Feb. 16 that it’s inviting the public and workplace safety stakeholders to share their comments on how the agency can best honor companies who make exceptional commitments to workplace safety and health.
Success has made it difficult to ensure quality of applicants
VPP was established in 1982 to recognize workplaces that demonstrate best practices in safety and health management and serve as industry models.
For 40 years, the program has attracted many organizations across a variety of industries, but VPP’s success has also stretched OSHA’s resources. This has made it more difficult for the agency to ensure the quality of a VPP applicant’s safety and health management systems.
Assistance in modernizing, enhancing VPP
OSHA wants comments from the public and safety and health stakeholders to assist in modernizing and enhancing VPP.
Specifically, OSHA would like input on issues, including:
- aligning the program more closely with recent occupational safety and health management practices and system standards
- how the program can contribute to expanding the use and effectiveness of safety and health management systems
- whether and how resources and tools such as “special government employees,” consensus standards, third-party auditors and other methods could serve to expand the program’s capacity without compromising effectiveness and oversight, and
- whether particular categories of hazards need special attention in the VPP certification process.
The agency is asking a series of questions in 10 sections to get input on these issues. Comments can be submitted via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. The deadline for comments is April 14, 2023.