What are the Virginia Voluntary Protection Programs?
On June 3, 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a bill for the historic Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Act in Virginia. The bill will continue developing the successful VPP system, which encourages companies to take safety and health above and beyond the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety and health requirements.
Virginia Voluntary Protection Programs include:
In Virginia STAR, management, labor, and the Department’s Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) Program, establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented an exceptional comprehensive safety and health management system. STAR participants meet all Virginia STAR requirements. MERIT participants have demonstrated the potential and willingness to achieve STAR program status, and are implementing planned steps to fully meet all STAR requirements.
Virginia Challenge is a three stage process that provides employers a step by step process to dramatically improve safety and health management systems to reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses
and fatalities and the substantial costs associated with them. When a company completes Virginia Challenge, it will have an exemplary safety and health management system (SHMS) that will also prepare it to apply for VPP STAR recognition.
Virginia BEST Program (Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training) is a strategic partnership between the VOSH Program and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) designed to encourage and recognize AGCVA members who voluntarily implement highly effective safety and health management systems to benefit construction workers and reduce or eliminate injuries, illnesses and fatalities on construction sites in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program and the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) have entered into a strategic partnership to create a first in the nation VADOC Challenge program to recognize safety and health excellence at correctional facilities around the Commonwealth. Three stages of participation in VADOC Challenge are provided.
Virginia Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) are designed to recognize and promote exceptional safety and health management programs. In VPP, the Department of Labor and Industry’s Occupational Safety and Health Program (VOSH), management and labor establish a cooperative relationship at a general industry or public sector workplace that has implemented a strong safety and health program.
- Management agrees to operate an effective program that meets an established set of criteria.
- Employees agree to participate in the program and work with management to ensure a safe and healthful workplace.
- VOSH verifies that the program meets VPP criteria, publicly recognizes the site’s exemplary program, and removes the site from the programmed compliance inspections.
- VOSH also reassesses periodically to confirm that the site continues to meet VPP criteria.
- The VPP concept recognizes that enforcement alone can never fully achieve the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Good safety management programs that go beyond VOSH standards can protect workers more effectively than simple compliance.
For the VPP application process, contact (540) 562-3580, then select “6”.