Voluntary Protection Programs Virginia STAR is a FREE recognition program that promotes excellence in worksite-based safety and health. In VPP 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.
Virginia STAR assists businesses and state and local government agencies in substantially improving occupational safety and health protections for thousands of employees through voluntary and cooperative efforts to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents; while decreasing insurance premiums, Workers’ Compensation costs and absenteeism, and increasing productivity and competitiveness. 2019 STAR Benefits Brochure
Virginia STAR Program is “Designed to recognize Virginia businesses that have exemplary safety and health programs.” Sites that are in VPP have a 3-year average Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) and Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) below the industry average. That means Virginia STAR sites can experience a reduction of 50 percent or more lost workday injuries as compared to the average site of the same size, in the same industry. Virginia STAR is the foundation for your organization to continue the process of reaching excellence in not only safety and health but in your industry as well.
VPP began in 1979 in California as an experimental program. In 1982 OSHA formally announced the VPP and approved the first site. Virginia VPP recognized its first Virginia STAR site in 1996. On June 3, 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law the historic VPP Act in Virginia. The VPP Act assures the continued development and expansion of successful Voluntary Protection Programs in Virginia. STAR Site Benefits
Who is in Virginia STAR?
In Virginia there are over 40,000 employees working at Virginia STAR sites (including OSHA’s Newport News Shipbuilding STAR site, the largest in the country) and almost 1 million workers in the United States. Virginia STAR has an elite membership with 35 active sites throughout the state and include many different industries such as airlines, pharmaceuticals, pollution control, industrial launderer, insulation, chemical, brewery, warehousing, snack foods, turkey processing, correctional centers, electronics, plastics, and electric utilities, just to name a few.
This is not just a program for big companies. Virginia STAR has sites that range from less than 20 employees to some that have over 1000 employees. Virginia STAR can be for anyone.
What are the types of participation? There are two types of participation:
STAR is for companies where management agrees to operate an exemplary program that meets and exceeds a VOSH/OSHA compliant/successful safety and health program.
Merit is for companies where management agrees to operate an exemplary program that meets and exceeds a VOSH/OSHA compliant/successful safety and health program, but who must take additional steps to reach STAR quality. Merit sites normally have one year to implement improvements to reach the STAR level of participation.
What is being evaluated and how? There are four major elements to Virginia STAR:
Management Leadership and Employee Involvement,
Hazard Prevention & Control and
Safety and Health Training.
Each element also has sub elements which are part of the VPP Program as well. See https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/index.html for additional information on the elements.
VPP STAR Application Once your application is submitted and accepted, a date will be set for a VPP team to come to your site. This team will consist of VOSH employees, Special Government Employees (SGE) and Private Industry Volunteers. The VPP team will verify that the site’s safety and health program is fully operational and addresses all potential hazards at the site. The team will also conduct interviews with a wide range of site employees and supervisors.
At the conclusion of their visit, the VPP Team will provide their recommendation for the level of participation in Virginia STAR. This recommendation will then be presented to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry for final approval.
What is the difference between other SHMS and VPP?
The major difference is that VPP is a free program and includes “Employee Involvement”. These other programs do not include employee involvement.