Maryland Codifies VPP
May 9, 2017
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.
California launched its VPP in 1978 to encourage employers, labor and regulators to partner together to boost workplace safety beyond the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA adopted the program in 1981. Since then, the program grew to encompass 2,200 worksites and 700 local unions, covering one million workers nationally. Participating worksites cut their workplace injuries and illnesses, while improving morale and labor-management relations.
Twenty-six states operate their own occupational safety and health enforcement programs. These states are expanding their VPP programs and enacting laws to make them permanent.
“Maryland has a robust VPP,” said Frank Ragone, a safety expert who testified on VPP to House and Senate committees. Thomas Meighen, Maryland’s recent Labor Commissioner, added, “This legislation tells employers, labor and regulators that their efforts are worth our support.”
“VPP saves lives,” said Jennifer Sanchez, a workplace safety expert who testified in favor of the VPP Act in Arizona. “There is a national movement to support VPP.”
“There is a lot of momentum behind VPP nationally and in the states,” said Mike Maddox, Executive Director of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association. “Few issues bring labor and management – and Democrats and Republicans – together like VPP.”
North Carolina’s House of Representatives has passed a VPP Act, which is heading to its Senate. Congress is considering a similar measure, H.R. 1444, which enjoys strong bipartisan support.
VPPPA, Inc., is the world’s leading organization dedicated to cooperative occupational safety and health management systems. Consisting of both VPP and non-VPP companies, member sites continuously striving to achieve safety and health excellence. VPPPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.