BIPARTISAN WORKPLACE SAFETY LEGISLATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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.
"I’ve seen across Indiana the successes of VPP at worksites like Cintas in Frankfort, and RR Donnelley and Nucor in Crawfordsville. Rather than promoting a Washington-knows-best approach, VPP works with the private sector to create safe work environments. This is sound policy that is not only good for the employers and employees, but for the American economy overall. I want to thank Representative Green for his leadership on this issue and continued commitment to this sensible program.”
"The Voluntary Protection Program is one of the few programs that has achieved unified support from both union and non-unionized labor, small and large businesses, and government," said Rep. Green. "I am proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to codify this important safety program that saves money while protecting workers. In Texas alone, 317 worksites participate in this program that employ tens of thousands of workers."
“The best way to ensure worker safety is through partnerships, not penalties,” Rep. Roby said. “VPP helps companies become compliant with workplace safety rules on the front end to avoid costly fines and harmful penalties on the back end. It’s a smart way to ensure a safe and productive workplace, while also making government smaller and more efficient."
The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Act would codify the VPP program, a successful partnership between private industry and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was created in 1982 but never authorized in law. The program requires implementation of comprehensive health and safety worksite protocols, which when certified compliant by OSHA, yields fewer injuries and illnesses and allows agency officials to focus on higher risk workplaces.
The VPP was created in 1982. Currently more than 2,200 worksites participate in the program covering approximately 900,000 employees. A 2007 report noted that VPP saves at least $89 million in public sector costs annually due to reduced injuries. Additionally, private sector employers report a 100-300 percent return on investment on their VPP participation.