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OSHA Seeks Comments on Modernizing the Voluntary Protection Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is inviting workplace safety stakeholders to share their comments on how the agency can best honor companies who make exceptional commitments to workplace safety and health.

Established in 1982, OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognizes workplaces that demonstrate best practices in safety and health management and serve as industry models. OSHA notes that the VPP is effective at reducing injuries and illnesses at participant worksites. For example, the average VPP worksite had a Days Away Restricted or Transferred case rate of 60% below the average for its industry for site-based construction for 2021.

By opening the program to public comments, OSHA hopes to receive input to assist the agency as it modernizes and enhances the VPP and continues to promote the use of workplace safety and health management systems. In particular, the VPP’s modernization project is seeking input on issues such as: (1) aligning the program more closely with recent occupational safety and health management practices and system standards; (2) how the program can contribute to expanding the use and effectiveness of safety and health management systems; (3) whether particular categories of hazards need special attention in the VPP certification process; and (4) 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. OSHA is also asking a series of questions in 10 sections to elicit useful responses to support the VPP’s aims.

Comments are due by April 14, 2023 and can be submitted here using OSHA-2022-0012.

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