In a letter sent yesterday to Senators Michael Enzi and Mary Landrieu, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) expressed support for the “Voluntary Protection Program Act,” because it provides workers a healthy and safe workplace.

“Since 1982, the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) has created a culture of workplace health and safety in more than 2500 workplaces covering approximately a million employees across the United States,” wrote AIHA President Michael T. Brandt, MPH, DrPH, CIH, PMP. “Employers, employees and other stakeholders recognize this program as a success that not only should be continued but expanded. Enactment of Senate Bill 807 is a huge step in the right direction.” Brandt said that after reviewing the bill, his organization supports it in its entirety.

”Codifying the VPP program will provide assurance that this program continues, is provided adequate funding, and is expanded to assist small business. Enactment also provides direction to OSHA on how best to monitor and evaluate the program to garner the most efficiency from the program. “VPP under your legislation would continue to be a comprehensive workplace safety and health management system that is built on cooperation among workers, employers and government.” During testimony in April before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, AIHA said: “Strong penalties and enforcement alone are not sufficient to achieve improved worker health and safety. AIHA supports an approach in which stronger penalties and enforcement are balanced by providing more compliance assistance and supporting efforts to develop occupational health and safety professionals.”