Today's News / Environmental and Occupational Health

ASSE backs VPP, wants I2P2 standard

OSHA's Michaels with ASSE's Pollock at Safety 2012 in Denver.
OSHA's Michaels with ASSE's Pollock at Safety 2012 in Denver

OSHA’s beleaguered VPP is getting strong support from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

“All of OSHA should be in VPP,” said ASSE President Richard A. Pollock, CSP, in a letter to Rep. Timothy L. Walberg, chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on Workforce Protections’ Committee on Education and the Workforce. Walberg’s committee recently held the hearing; “Promoting Safe Workplaces Through Voluntary Protection Programs.”

VPP has come under criticism recently for allowing workplaces with higher-than-average injury and fatality rates to continue participating in the program, which allows member companies in good standing to forgo regular OSHA inspections.

Pollock said the VPP requirement that participants have in place injury and illness prevention plans (I2P2) is a key to the program’s success. He called for an OSHA standard requiring all employers to have in place an I2P2 program, saying that may be the only way that OSHA’s overall approach to workplace regulation can be in line with how the best employers achieve safety.

“A well written OSHA I2P2 standard that truly causes a shift to risk-based approaches to safety and health among all employers can change the overall focus of OSHA’s work away from ensuring employer adherence to inflexible standards that too often lead to nitpicky enforcement efforts,” Pollock said.  “The current disconnect between how OSHA encourages employer commitment to safety and health and how the best employers achieve safety and health can be bridged.”

ASSE also urged the subcommittee to move forward with codification of the program so it can become a permanent part of OSHA’s effort to help ensure the safety of this nation’s workers; backed continued research into the effectiveness of all OSHA programs; and stated its general agreement with OSHA that incentives designed to discourage workers from reporting injuries cannot be part of VPP.

“Even the most minimal levels of safety are not achieved when workers fear or are discouraged from reporting injuries.  Appropriate incentives need to encourage workers to engage in safe practices,” Pollock said.

Created in 1982, VPP partners with businesses and worksites that commit to effective employee protection beyond the requirements of OSHA standards. VPP participants develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate, prevent, and control occupational hazards to prevent employee injuries and illnesses. As a result, the average VPP worksite has a lost workday incidence rate at least 50 percent below the average of its industry, according to OSHA.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine


2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.