OSHA announced yesterday that employers in the construction industry may begin applying for participation in OSHA's newest component of its premiere cooperative program — the VPP Mobile Workforce Demonstration for Construction. Eligible applicants include those who operate within the construction industry and have been in continuous business for at least three years.

The initiative was first announced in July by OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke at the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Safety and Health Committee mid-year meeting in Denver. Foulke said the program “offers construction employers with mobile construction workforces and short term projects the same opportunity for recognition that fixed-site employers receive” and “recognizes those construction companies that should be held up as models of safety and health for the rest of the industry.”

While the core of the new program continues on the principle of effective safety and health management systems, there are important differences as compared to site-based VPP participants. For example, applications are acceptable from a corporation, or from a division or business unit within that corporation. Additionally, companies can use an Applicant Participation Plan to note safety and health policies and procedures that differ from established VPP requirements. There is also a requirement for a prescreening/oversight process that verifies corporate policies and procedures are being effectively implemented at all worksites.