News

The Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) released the annual nonfatal workplace injury and illness report for 2016. Indiana’s nonfatal occupational injury and illness rate is the lowest in state history with an estimated 3.5 injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers. The 2016 rate represents an eight percent decrease from 2015’s previous historically low rate of 3.8, and the fifth consecutive year the injury and illness rate has been at or below 4.0.

Two plants operated by Allegheny Wood Products Inc. have the distinction of being the only hardwood sawmills in the country that participate in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). And it requires a lot of work and widespread employee involvement. VPP recognizes leading companies with strong safety programs and exempts them from ordinary surprise inspections that the agency conducts.

In a bipartisan effort to promote workplace safety, U.S. Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) re-introduced legislation, S. 1878, to make the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) a permanent part of workplace safety in American industry. VPP recognizes workers, managers and companies who use best practices that go above and beyond the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) minimum safety requirements to enhance workplace safety and health.  

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Tennessee Safety & Health Conference (TSHC) for the 2018 Safety+ Symposium. Both organizations will combine their efforts to hold a joint event, which will bring all attendees the same great educational workshops, networking and professional development they have come to expect from VPPPA.

Think your pet is cute enough to be in a magazine? The Autumn issue of The Leader is all about animals and safety. To celebrate, we are having a contest. Submit a photo of your dog, cat, bunny, pet rock, etc. and use #VPPPAnimals in the post. The post with the most "likes" will win a spot in The Leader AND a $100 gift card. Contest runs until September 21 at 4pm EST. We will announce the winner on Sept. 22. Good luck and say cheese!

 

We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended the VPPPA Safety+ Symposium last week in New Orleans!

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). Both organizations recognize the benefits of a collaborative partnership to improve occupational safety and health professionals and practitioners.

 

Currently there are no plans to cancel the Safety+ Symposium and it will continue as scheduled. The safety of our attendees is of the utmost importance and we will continue to monitor the situation and actively communicate with attendees via all mediums (email, website, social media) in the event anything changes.

To find the Safety+ app in the Google Play or iTunes stores simply search for "VPPPA."

We had so much fun with last month's contest, we wanted to host another! Enter the #WhyISafety contest for a chance to win a free gift card! 

 

This year, VPPPA is a supporter of the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, taking place in Singapore. The World Congress is the largest international event that focuses on workplace safety and health. 

VPPPA has partnered with OSHA, the National Safety Council, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for Safe + Sound Week June 12-18. The event is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the value of workplace safety and health programs.

Would you like an opportunity to win a $50 Walmart gift card? How about three chances?

Embracing workplace safety, Maryland’s General Assembly unanimously passed a bill to codify its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into law on May 4. With this action, Maryland follows Indiana, Virginia and Arizona in passing legislation embracing voluntary compliance as a permanent part of its workplace safety picture.

President Donald J. Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta to be the 27th United States Secretary of Labor. The Senate confirmed Acosta on April 27, in a bipartisan vote of 60-38, and he was sworn in on April 28, 2017.

Cintas Corporation announced that its location in Lake Charles, Louisiana received Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star certification from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). VPP Star is their highest recognition for the practice of and commitment to exemplary occupational safety and health.

Behind Senator Smith's legislation, SB1478, Arizona became only the second state in the nation to protect VPP. This legislation, which cleared many legislative hurdles, was continuously revived by VPP partners who knew firsthand how important these programs are.

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Fall Prevention Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

It's that time of year again! In conjunction with Safety+ 2017, taking place Aug. 29- Sept. 1, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana, elections are scheduled to be held for VPPPA National Board of Directors' positions. This year there are seven open positions.

We are thrilled to announce our newest contest #HowISafety. One of the greatest things about our members is their passion for safety! This contest is an excellent way for members to share their personal experiences and spread awareness of safety practices.

We couldn’t make this contest any easier if we tried! To ensure each of our members are receiving the benefits they deserve, we need your site rosters to be updated. Please update the roster that was included in our membership mailing with all of your current employees.

On March 9, 2017, Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN), along with Representatives Gene Green (D-TX) and Martha Roby (R-AL), re-introduced H.R. 1444, the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Act.  The VPP Act is legislation to make permanent a key voluntary workplace safety program.  This is the second consecutive Congress in which Rep. Rokita, Rep. Green, and Rep. Roby have introduced this bipartisan legislation.

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) and the Louisiana Governor’s Safety & Health Conference are teaming up in 2017 to present the joint safety and health event, Safety+, an Integrated Safety & Health Management Systems Symposium. The event will take place in New Orleans, LA, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, 2017. The two events will join thousands of safety and health professionals from across the country and expose both sides to new best practices, training, safety equipment, ideas and safety and health vendors.

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association is pleased to announce that VPP veteran, Mike Maddox, formerly vice president of corporate VPP for NuStar Energy, has been hired as the executive director of the association. Maddox brings more than 20 years of VPP experience to this role along with more than 40 years of occupational safety and health experience.  He retired as chairman of the association in August 2016 and from NuStar Energy in January 2017.

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association unveiled a new name and logo for their 2017 annual event, taking place in New Orleans, LA, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, 2017. The new name, Safety+, reflects the evolving identity of the association as a resource for all safety and health professionals including non-VPP-centric companies working towards safety and health excellence. The change represents the successful transition of the association as the premier global safety and health organization rather than a place that is only for companies who are VPP.

Welcome to 21st century safety where mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) can be used for more than texting, navigating and catching Pokémon. Safety procedures, guidance documents, checklists, JSA’s, etc. can be available for employees anytime, anywhere on any mobile device. In 2020, over 50 percent of the workforce will be Generation X and Generation Y; they have lived with mobile devices in their hands since childhood. 

Registration is now open for the VPPPA regional conferences. 

 

 

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Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA has issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems to better protect workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements.

The Region III VPPPA Scholarship Committee will select and award up to two (2) scholarships to applicants who are already enrolled in or plan to enroll in a course of study at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school.  The scholarship will be ranged from $500.00 to $1,000.00.

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program and the Associated General Contractors of Virginia (AGCVA) have entered into a strategic partnership to bring a first in the nation - Virginia BEST Program (Building Excellence in Safety, Health and Training) to AGCVA members.

PHOENIX (October 20, 2016) – The Arizona Manufacturers Council will honor the achievements of Arizona’s outstanding manufacturers tomorrow, October 21, 2016 at the Arizona Manufacturing Summit and Awards Luncheon.

The Summit and luncheon, which will take place at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, will also recognize two legislators who have served as advocates for manufacturing in the state.

Are you a leader in your field? Do you have a passion to teach and share your knowledge? Do you have a story to tell other safety professionals like you? We’re looking for workshops from people like you. Share your expertise with fellow VPPPA members and become a workshop presenter at Safety+, An Integrated Safety & Health Management Systems Symposium. VPPPA’s annual conference is the leading educational event for attendees who represent a broad spectrum of industries and hold a variety of positions from EHS professionals to hourly workers and managers to representatives from the Departments of Labor, Energy and Defense.

The guidelines are derived from “best-in-class” OSHA programs, such as the Voluntary Protection Programs and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, as well as national and international consensus standards. The resource applies to various industries, but the construction industry will have its own “Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs for the Construction Industry,” which Michaels said will be coming out in the near future.

Nanotechnology has been called the second Industrial Revolution.  Its vast potential for improving our world will continue to inspire innovations in a dizzying array of beneficial applications.  Despite the promise this evolving enabling technology has generated, the uncertainties surrounding the human health and environmental implications of engineered nanoparticles, the tiny engine driving this new transformative technology, inspire concern. 

In today’s society, workplace threats can happen anywhere and at any time. Often, the companies that experience workplace violence never saw it coming and had no plans in place to reduce the effects of a security breach. Some two million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in two-thirds of workplace homicides, the assailant has no known personal relationship with the victim. While assailants can be contractors, members of the public, clients, or suppliers, our first thoughts often shift to current and former employees, their friends and even their families when an incident of violence occurs in the workplace.

We hope you had a blast at the 32nd annual conference! Check out all of the photos from the event here. 

Congratulations to Mike Maddox, former chairman of VPPPA, on his retirement. Mike Maddox served as chairman of the board for nearly 20 years. Mike was honored for his contributions to VPP and to the Association at the 32nd Annual National VPPPA Safety & Health Conference in Kissimmee, FL. A video message from his peers can be viewed here.

Thank you for participating in our Awards and Scholarship Programs! This year, we had a record number of students apply for our scholarships and were able to award $10,000 to tomorrow's safety and health leaders. 

Have you seen our latest blog post? What is the difference between blame vs culpability? Is your company guilty of fingerpointing?

And the winners are...

VPPPA Workplace Safety Plan

Columbine, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Excel Industries. What do these words have in common? Workers and students were killed in a place they thought safe. In fact, there is no workplace that is absolutely safe. Workplace violence has become far too common. Anyone or anyplace can be a target and the threat may be internal or external to the organization.

In an uncommon display of election-year bipartisanship, U.S. Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) proposed legislation last week, (S. 2881) to make the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) a permanent part of the workplace safety picture.

Congratulations to Perry Bonck, the 2016 VPPPA’s Got Talent winner! Visit our YouTube page to view the winning entry. 

As of November 1, 2015, our database and website were updated and the VPPPA national office moved to a new system. Your member ID number and email address have remained the same however; your password has changed. If you have not logged into our system since October 2015, your old password will no longer work. All users logging into the website for the first time will need to click on the “forgot your email or password” link to receive a new password. You may use your new password to login with your individual member ID or email address and may then change it to something that you will remember. Please use the following frequently asked questions below to guide you through the process.

Take advantage of VPPPA’s scholarships and awards programs! Did you know we recognize VPP sites for the contributions they have made to their communities and to the safety and health field? Did you know that VPPPA offers scholarships that are only open to VPPPA members and their family members? Spread the word! Post VPPPA award and scholarship information in break rooms at your site so others may be made aware of these opportunities.

Some 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and four plus the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational use and more are likely to follow. Both kinds of legalization have given rise to a powerful commercial industry that is pursuing more customers to make more money. This creates two sets of problems for employers: increased marijuana use—and all the costs this brings in the form of accidents and lost productivity—and costly litigation. It is impossible to predict how much use will go up since no modern jurisdiction has ever allowed for-profit companies to produce and promote recreational marijuana before Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia did so.

One challenge faced by companies is getting employee safety training to stick. Several VPP-approved sites are employing interactive training methods to encourage a higher level of engagement, improve training oversight and strengthen project safety culture. Interactive training methods—often referred to as simulator, mock-up or scenario-based training—immerse employees in an environment they can experience, rather than read about.

In an unexpected move, Congress paved the way for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase its monetary penalties for the first time since 1990. The federal budget agreement passed in late October contains provisions for the agency to increase maximum fines to make up for previous inflation in the intervening 25 years. It also provides for annual increases to match subsequent inflation.

OSHA is unveiling a public review draft of its updated Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. In order to make the guidelines as effective and useful as possible, OSHA is asking stakeholders and experts to send their comments about the guidelines.

Falls Church, VA – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strengthened the Special Government Employee (SGE) Program for its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). In a July 30, 2015, update to the guiding document for the program, OSHA expanded the role of SGEs in VPP evaluations, allowing the agency to make greater use of VPP company expertise.

The Leader was nominated for a national Folio award for editorial excellence! The annual awards program—spanning all corners of the magazine publishing industry—recognizes the very best in editorial and design. It’s the most comprehensive and prestigious awards program of its kind in the industry.

As part of the VPP Participants’ Association’s (VPPPA) congressional outreach, dedicated volunteers shared their experiences with the programs with over 100 congressional offices, representing all corners of the country and crossing party lines. Despite its small size, VPP helps to protect approximately one million workers across the U.S. at more than 2,300 different worksites. These congressional outreach events help to keep VPP on the minds of Congress and their staffs. Two outreach participants agreed to share their experiences with the visits and share their advice for newcomers.

The privately-owned railroad industry, which operates trains on more than 140,000 miles of track in the U.S., is a vital part of the nation’s economy. Railroads efficiently move large quantities of freight over long distances. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), railroads move almost 40 percent of freight in the U.S., and tonnage is expected to increase by more than 22 percent in the next 25 years.


GRAPEVINE – On Monday, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX-29) attended the National Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA) Safety & Health Conference in Grapevine, Texas. He received an award for his Congressional leadership on workplace safety and the Voluntary Protection Program Act, and spoke to participants.

Falls Church, VA – 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 above and beyond the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety requirements. Senator Kenneth Alexander (D-Norfolk) and Delegate G. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond), cosponsored the bill which passed unanimously in the general assembly.

ARLINGTON, Va. (January 16, 2015) – The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has received American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval for ANSI/ISEA Z308.1-2014, American National Standard-Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits and Supplies.