Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) can improve worker health and safety while helping employers to reduce costs such as workers’ compensation premiums and expenses associated with injuries and illness. Employers with OSHA-approved VPPs are also exempt from OSHA programmed inspections as long as they maintain their VPP status.
Statistical evidence for the success of the 40-year old VPP program is impressive. For example, the average VPP worksite has a Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) case rate that is 52% below its industry average. DART, an OSHA-mandated safety metric, tracks annual workplace injuries and illnesses that cause employees to miss workdays, perform restricted work activities, or transfer to another job.
To get started with VPP, employers submit an on-line application to OSHA and then undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Success requires a collaborative and proactive approach with management, labor and OSHA all working together to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Union support is required if workers are represented by a bargaining unit.
To earn OSHA’s VPP approval, workplaces must implement effective safety management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) averages for their respective industries. According to OSHA, the ingredients of an effective system include hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment, and worker involvement.
EHS Risk Management, LLC can help you to implement this type of system through a proactive, collaborative approach to safety that leverages today’s technology and is built by professionals. By recognizing, evaluating, and mitigating environmental health and safety risks, business leaders can improve worker health and safety while helping to reduce costs and increase profitability.
To learn more, contact us.