Cintas Corp. officials recently celebrated their securing of a key workplace safety certification at its Round Rock uniform rental site. In a Jan. 18 ceremony, officials feted the acquisition of a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Joining company officials at a Jan. 18 ceremony was Charles Schwertner, Texas State Senator (District 5), and Wayne Noll, senior lecturer at Texas State University.

Hurricane Harvey dropped over 51 inches of rain on the gulf coast of Texas between Corpus Christi and Beaumont. Over 185,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 364,000 people registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is estimated that the cost to Texas is greater than $125 billion. Some members of the Region VI VPPPA Board of Directors were directly affected by Hurricane Harvey. Some members participated in rescue and recovery efforts. The Region VI Board wanted to do more to help.

Issues like GDPR, Modern Slavery, Cyber Security and Bullying and Harassment increasingly carry substantial financial, criminal and reputational penalties when employees fail to follow procedures. Proving training on Risk and Governance issues has been carried out, understood and the latest policy or method statements have been signed is a huge challenge for the training team.Traditionally HR and L&D teams are great at providing training, but when the auditors come knocking a paper chase can ensue.

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.

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.