AIHA: OSHA Offices Will Be VPP Certified

OSHA Administrator John Henshaw says his agency will walk the talk. He plans to have area offices certified for the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), he told a group of attendees at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition.

The VPP, which have more than 900 member companies, are designed to recognize and promote effective safety and health management. In VPP, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a workplace that has implemented a strong safety program that includes management commitment and employee involvement.

OSHA offices will go through the same certification program as other companies applying for the programs. Before companies are certified for VPP, they must pass a thorough inspection of the facility, programs and records by representatives of OSHA. Henshaw joked, "We had way too many people volunteering to do assessments in our offices. We had to be careful about that."

Every illness and injury that occurs at an OSHA office is reported to Henshaw via e-mail. "People get hurt," he admitted. "We have ergonomic problems" in some offices, he said.

Noting VPP companies have lower fatality, injury and illness rates, Henshaw obviously hopes to increase occupational safety and health awareness on a personal level at the agency.

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