VPP Introduction

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					VPP Introduction
Challenge for the Future of Safety
Developed from VPP website information

What is VPP
   The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) are designed to recognize and promote
      effective safety and health management. In the VPP, management, labor, and
      OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a workplace that has implemented a
      strong program.
   Management agrees to operate an effective program that meets an established set
      of criteria.
   Employees agree to participate in the program and work with management to
      assure a safe and healthful workplace.
   OSHA initially verifies that the program meets the VPP criteria.
   Then publicly recognize the site's exemplary program, and removes the site from
      routine scheduled inspection lists (OSHA may still investigate major accidents,
      valid formal employee complaints, and chemical spills)
   OSHA also reassesses periodically to confirm that the site continues to meet VPP
      criteria (every three years for the Star program; every year for the merit program)
   The VPP concept recognizes that compliance enforcement alone can never fully
      achieve the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Good safety
      management programs that go beyond OSHA standards can protect workers more
      effectively than simple compliance.

VPP Program Levels
   VPP are comprised of program elements that have been demonstrated to reduce
     the incidence and severity of workplace illnesses and injuries at worksites where
     these programs are an integral part of daily operations.
   To reach each level, OSHA must approve of your program.

Demonstration
   The Demonstration Program allows evaluation of criteria different from, but
     potentially as protective for workers as the Star criteria. The purpose of this
     program is to demonstrate that these criteria do protect workers and thus to
     broaden the repertoire of safety and health initiatives.

Merit
   The Merit Program provides a planned set of "stepping stones" to Star
      participation for those employers who have demonstrated the potential and
      willingness to achieve Star requirements.

Star
      The Star Program is the most highly selective program and is for applicants with
       occupational safety and health programs that are comprehensive and are
       successful in reducing workplace hazards.
      OSHA expects that Star participants will be on the leading edge of hazard
       prevention methods and technology and that participants will show continuous
       improvement in their safety and health programs.

What are the Benefits?
   The following benefits have been cited by current VPP participants:
          o Improved employee motivation to work safely, leading to better quality
             and productivity
          o Reduced workers' compensation costs
          o Recognition in the community
          o Improvement of programs that are already good, through the internal and
             external review that's part of the VPP application process
          o VPP participant sites generally experience from 60 to 80 percent fewer
             lost workday injuries than would be expected of an "average" site of the
             same size in their industries

Won’t this increase my paperwork load?
   The VPP application process is designed to be rigorous, to assure that only the
      best programs qualify. But VPP reviewers don't look for a single correct way to
      meet VPP requirements: They want to see a system that works for you. Some
      successful programs involve a lot of written documentation, while others do not.
   There is some paperwork required in the application process, but we encourage
      you to use as much existing material as possible. The VPP coordinator in your
      region can help you with questions about what might be required.

Will my program qualify
    OSHA offers a Self-Assessment in the VPP information kit.
    You can use the checklist to see if your program meets VPP criteria.
    Make corrections where needed before you begin the application process.

How Do I Join
   You must submit a written application to OSHA. The application guideline is
     included in the VPP information kit. After your written application has been
     reviewed by OSHA, an Onsite Review will be scheduled.
   "What Happens When OSHA Comes Onsite", found in the VPP information kit,
     describes the onsite review.
   The website publication “What to Expect During OSHA’s Visit” will also be
     helpful.

Where to get more Information
   The VPP Coordinator in your OSHA Regional Office can provide you with a VPP
     information kit and can help you with any questions that you might have.
   The VPPPA organization has further information.
   Insurance agencies and consultants may be able to assist.
Benefits of Participating in VPP
    Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) participants establish and maintain
       excellent safety and health programs in their workplaces that are recognized by
       OSHA as models for their industries.
    Cooperative interaction with OSHA gives companies the opportunity to provide
       OSHA with input on safety and health matters and to provide industry with
       models of effective means for accomplishing workplace safety and health
       objectives.
    Participants are not subject to routine OSHA inspections, because OSHA's VPP
       onsite reviews ensure that their safety and health programs provide superior
       protection.
    Establishing and maintaining safety and health programs on the VPP model are
       reflected in substantially lower than average worker injury rates at VPP worksites.

				
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