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WY Senator Introduces Worker Safety Legislation

Friday, April 5, 2019

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A group of senators introduced legislation last week that would make the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program a permanent fixture for worksites.

What’s Happening

The Voluntary Protection Program Act, introduced by U.S. senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, Michael Bennet, D-Colorado and Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, would “codify an effective program operated by OSHA that encourages workplaces to incorporate voluntary programs to improve the health and safety of their worksites.”

“As a former small business owner, I understand the importance of maintaining a safe workplace as well as the burdens that can be imposed by federal regulations,” Enzi said.

Ed Brown, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A group of senators introduced legislation last week that would make the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program a permanent fixture for worksites.

“The Voluntary Protection Program has a proven record of encouraging health and safety in the workplace along with saving the government hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding injuries and illnesses. It is time we make this successful program permanent to ensure that it can help more of our businesses.”

The VPP was created in 1982 and reportedly has incorporated more than 2,200 worksites around the country.

The program recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries, according to OSHA.

Under the current plan, employers participate by submitting an application to OSHA and undergoing a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.

VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs, and are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

“The Voluntary Protection Program has proven its value through measurable results for the safety of American workers, and the businesses that voluntarily choose to participate often exceed OSHA standards. Making this program permanent is just common sense,” said Isakson.

“I’ve run a small business myself and understand that smarter and safer workplace practices not only help your employees, they also help your bottom line because you’re able to avoid what can be burdensome federal regulations.”

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Government; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; NA; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Safety

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