For Industrial Safety, there is no greater recognition than the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star status. The purpose of OSHA VPP Statuses is to “recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.”
Star: Those who “demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards the development, implementation and continuous improvement of their safety and health management system.”
Merit: For those who have “developed and implemented good safety and health management systems, but who must take additional steps to reach Star quality.”
Demonstration: For those “who operate effective safety and health management systems that differ from current VPP requirements.”
Facilities seeking VPP Status require a safety culture that is led by management and labor. Facility personnel must have built or will build safety programs that are designed to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This must also be demonstrated during the application process. Your facility must submit an application to OSHA, and then OSHA will perform a “rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.” (At sites with union labor, the union must be involved through representation by the bargaining unit).
Once OSHA VPP Star status is acquired, that facility is exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain the VPP status. Once in the program, facilities must undergo re-evaluation every three to five years to verify the standards of the program are still met.
Overall, VPP worksites have a case rate for Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) 52% below average for its industry. An impressive figure that shows this program reduces the rate of injuries, illness, and fatalities.
Ultimately, a strong safety and health culture leads to lives saved and reduced costs. What are you waiting for?
Check out requirements here: https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/