Jeffress: Soar Beyond the Star

Reflecting on the theme of this year's Voluntary Protection\r\nPrograms Participants' Association (VPPPA) conference, OSHA\r\nAdministrator Charles N. Jeffress tells attendees to "reach beyond the star."

Reflecting on the theme of this year'' s Voluntary Protection Programs Participants'' Association (VPPPA) conference, OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress told attendees Monday in Seattle to "reach beyond the star."

Jeffress encouraged attendees to take several steps to go beyond the VPP Star level.

"What lies beyond after your site has achieved VPP?," asked Jeffress. "I encourage you to use your leadership to expand the VPP effort."

First, Jeffress told attendees to expand the same VPP commitment throughout their other company sites if they haven''t done so already.

He also asked participants to expand the efforts into their own communities and serving as volunteers is another way to reach out.

"We need the assistance of VPP volunteers to go beyond the star and help us in the evaluation of other sites," said Jeffress. "By the end of year, there will be 170 private sector volunteers assisting OSHA with the VPP process."

Jeffress challenged companies to move beyond the boarders of the United States and implement a Star status mentality at international sites.

"Many companies have operations around the world," said Jeffress. "If you are a leader here, be a leader there. Give the same priority to safety and health at your international sites and with your international contractors as you do here in the United States."

Jeffress pointed out that working with international partners is something OSHA has been working on as well.

"OSHA is reaching out and you can too. We are working with the European Union (EU) on many partnership efforts such as an global hazcom standard and we have just launched a joint Web site with the EU to promote global workplace safety," noted Jeffress.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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