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Voluntary Protection Programs - VPP
(Updated 9/20/2007) OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) is intended to promote effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.
In July of 2004, the APWU and the USPS entered into an agreement to cooperate at all levels (National, Area, and Local) to identify and prepare worksites for participation in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).
On August 30, 2007, the APWU and the USPS agreed to renew the program for another three years.
The agreement and the VPP process are designed so that APWU and USPS can work together to improve safety & health at participating facilities and reduce accidents and injuries. Since entering into this agreement, 134 sites have achieved VPP status by exhibiting a commitment to safety and health and meeting OSHA’s program requirements. In those sites where VPP has become an integral part of the Local Safety & Health committee culture, the number of reported injuries and illness has decreased on average 35-40%.
The ongoing success of the program is based upon a recognition by management of its responsibility to provide safe working conditions, a commitment by the APWU to cooperate with and assist management to live up to this responsibility, and the meaningful involvement of both parties.
The agreement specifically requires that a site must have a local Safety and Health Committee, must implement the 1999 APWU-USPS Correction of Unsafe Conditions Memorandum, and must work jointly to develop a facility’s VPP program. The parties agree that the decision to enter the VPP process is a joint decision made between the APWU and the USPS at the local level.
To enter the VPP program, the local Safety and Health Committee must notify the Area Safety and Health Committee of their desire to participate. This can be accomplished by contacting the APWU Area VPP representative thru the union’s Regional Coordinator’s office. A meeting with the local parties is then arranged to discuss the details of the process and determine if the facility meets the requirement of VPP. A VPP subcommittee of the local Safety and Health Committee would be formed to develop the application, followed by an in-depth on-site inspection of the facility and its safety and health programs, after which the application is submitted to OSHA for scheduling of an OSHA on-site inspection. If a facility meets the OSHA VPP requirement it is recognized by OSHA for its accomplishment and awarded VPP status.