A nation-wide Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) initiative aimed at meeting
the unique needs and characteristics of the construction industry -- Mobile
Workforce VPP Demonstration for Construction -- was unveiled by US-American
OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke at the Associated General Contractors of America
(AGC) Safety and Health Committee mid-year meeting in Denver.
"VPP is a good tool for increasing safety and health awareness within the
industry," Foulke told attendees when announcing the program. "It is important
for OSHA to recognize those construction companies that should be held up as
models of safety and health for the rest of the industry."
The Mobile Workforce VPP Demonstration for Construction will join VPP Corporate
Pilot and OSHA Challenge Pilot as the newest component of OSHA's premier
cooperative program that recognizes and promotes effective health and safety
"This initiative aims to provide the mobile construction workforce and short
term projects with the same opportunity for recognition that fixed site
employers receive," said Foulke. "We believe our proposal has the potential to
significantly contribute to reductions in injuries, illnesses and fatalities in
one of the nation's most hazardous industries."
The new demonstration is based on the agency's VPP experience as well as
successes garnered through the construction-related Mobile Workforce and
Short-Term Construction Star Demonstration Programs. The core of the initiative
continues to rest on the principle of effective safety and health management
systems. However, it is unique from traditional VPP programs in that it adds
new procedures and requirements that recognize the unique aspects of the
construction industry. For example, the program allows for participation at the
company, division, or business unit levels.
VPP is OSHA's premier cooperative program, with about 1,400 workplaces
currently participating. VPP worksites save millions each year because their
injury and illness rates are more than 50 percent below the averages for their
industries. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative
relationships at workplaces that have implemented comprehensive safety and
health management systems. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of
the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary
occupational safety and health programs.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible
for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role
is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by
setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education;
establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in
workplace safety and health.
AplusA-online.de - Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration