Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council today approved a new position-policy statement in support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) and that calls for continued adequate funding for the program. Additionally, NSC encourages OSHA to continue to exempt VPP sites from programmed enforcement visits and opposes any efforts to require VPP sites to be charged a fee to participate in the program.
VPP status is a notable achievement. Organizations dedicated to continuous improvement in safety performance often seek VPP status for recognition and continued motivation. The program covers approximately 1 million workers, and VPP participants have average workday incident rates that are 52 percent lower than the average for their industry.
Pursuit of VPP status has helped many safety professionals encourage their employers' leadership to improve safety management systems by complying with the program’s criteria. Organizations with VPP status represent business leaders who have implemented strong safety management systems and demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement.
The National Safety Council, which recently announced its safety management systems position-policy, identifies certain attributes that are critical to safety success. The elements include leadership from management and employee representatives to ensure necessary resources are available, technical and operational elements to ensure ongoing risk reduction, and cultural and behavioral considerations to maximize improvement by engaging the workforce and fostering collaborative efforts. VPP status complements the NSC safety management systems position-policy and furthers the Council’s goal to prevent 400 workplace fatalities and 800,000 occupational injuries by 2014.
Charging participants a fee to obtain VPP status could discourage smaller organizations from working toward the achievement. The program, as it stands, ensures a balanced approach between enforcement efforts and compliance assistance while advancing comprehensive safety management programs in all workplaces.
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.