The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) promotes effective safety and health in the workplace. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work together to establish a cooperative relationship at locations that have implemented effective and comprehensive safety and health management systems. Approval to participate in the VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have developed and maintain a best-in-class occupational safety and health system.
The decision to pursue VPP participation must be agreed upon by all employees, both management and labor. The process may take considerable time, often years. It starts by identifying and closing gaps in the safety and health systems and educating employees on the VPP.
An official application is created and submitted to State or Federal OSHA. Once the application is reviewed and accepted by OSHA, a comprehensive onsite assessment of physical conditions and written programs is conducted. After a successful onsite assessment, approval for VPP participation may be awarded.
Some say that achieving VPP Status is the easy part; the hard part is maintaining it. VPP participants are required to perform comprehensive annual self-assessment and submit them for review. These self-assessments focus on continuous improvement.
Those who participate in VPP and those who are pursuing VPP are part of a community that values workplace safety. This shared value connects everyone. As an industry specific VPP work group, we can share our successes with our industry peers and learn from each other.