Voluntary Protection Program Creates Preferred Exemption, Could Be Permanent

Since its inception in 1982, over 2000 companies have opted to participate in the Voluntary Protection Program.   By taking a proactive approach to health and safety with VPP, participants are exempt from programmed OSHA inspections.

OSHA InspectionWhat Is the Voluntary Protection Program?

The VPP is designed to allow companies to work closely with OSHA to develop an effective health and safety program and preemptively prevent illnesses, injuries and fatalities.  Participants go through an extensive evaluation conducted by professionals in the safety and health field.  Participants are expected to maintain injury and illness rates below the national averages and must be re-evaluated for the program every three to five years.

The VPP concentrates on hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, safety training for workers and collaborative management and worker involvement.

The House is eager to make this program a permanent and viable option for businesses.  A bill was introduced to legislation by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).  Lawmakers say that making this program permanent means that Congress would not be allowed to eliminate or reduce funding.

What is the big deal?

The major perk of the VPP is that businesses are exempt from programmed OSHA inspections, meaning there is a lower risk for potentially costly fines.  Additionally, the VPP allows small businesses access to resources to maintain a high level of safety within their organization.  Small businesses are able to continue to provide products and services without sacrificing the safety of their employees or dealing with imposed burdens.

Before inviting OSHA into your business, we recommend putting a little time and effort into your health and safety program and procedures.  The VPP requires a substantial amount of commitment from its participants and should not be taken lightly.   Becoming more familiar with regulations and effective health and safety policies will help you in the long run when working closely with OSHA in the VPP.

SRP provides companies with a turn-key approach to health and safety needs, including safety training, program development and compliance audits.  We have safety consultants at our seven locations in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Midland, Shreveport and Pittsburgh.  Have questions about the Voluntary Protection Program? Contact SRP today at (318) 222-2364.