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.