Operated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), OSHA state-plan states and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), VPP is designed to promote excellence in safety and health by recognizing facilities with outstanding occupational safety and health management systems. As of Dec. 2013, 2,334 sites are covered by OSHA & state-plan VPP across the U.S.
VPP for Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Adopted on July 2, 1982, OSHA’s VPP recognizes worksites that have achieved and are maintaining excellence in worker safety and health protection through cooperation among government, industry and labor. VPP is composed of three different programs:
- STAR – recognizes sites that have distinguished themselves with the highest level of safety and health excellence;
- MERIT – recognizes sites that have good safety and health programs, but must take additional steps to reach Star quality;
- STAR DEMONSTRATION – recognizes worksites that have Star quality safety and health programs, but requires demonstration and/or testing of experimental approaches that differ from current Star requirements.
A site that applies for participation in VPP must submit a written application that addresses the major elements of the program: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training. An onsite review by OSHA officials to evaluate the workplace safety and health program and to interview employees at the facility is the final stage of the application process.
Further information regarding OSHA’s VPP can be found on the Agency’s website.
VPP for Department of Energy (DOE)
In 1994, DOE developed and implemented DOE-VPP, which is closely modeled on the OSHA program. DOE-VPP is identical to OSHA VPP except that participation is open to contractors employed at DOE-owned facilities.
DOE officials regularly attend and participate in VPPPA conferences, workshops and meetings.
State-Plan State VPP
Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 encourages states to develop and operate their own job safety and health programs. Currently, 22 states and jurisdictions operate complete state-plans (covering private sector and state and local government employees) and five (CT, IL, NJ, NY and VI) which cover public employees only.
VPP offered by state-plan states must be at least as effective as federal VPP programs