A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Act to make permanent a successful workplace health and safety program for both public and private employers. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the legislation along with U.S. Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.
The VPP Act would codify an effective program operated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that encourages workplaces to incorporate voluntary programs to improve the health and safety of their worksites. The program reduces OSHA inspection burdens on workplaces that have a proven commitment to safety and a record of compliance with standards.
“As a former small business owner, I understand the importance of maintaining a safe workplace as well as the burdens that can be imposed by federal regulations,” Enzi said. “The Voluntary Protection Program has a proven record of encouraging health and safety in the workplace along with saving the government hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding injuries and illnesses. It is time we make this successful program permanent to ensure that it can help more of our businesses.”
“By encouraging labor and management to work together, the safety of workers becomes the priority it should be,” Bennet said. “Our bill gives the Voluntary Protection Program the opportunity to continue its successful and cost-effective efforts to improve workplace health and safety nationwide.”
“The Voluntary Protection Program has proven its value through measurable results for the safety of American workers, and the businesses that voluntarily choose to participate often exceed OSHA standards. Making this program permanent is just common sense,” said Isakson. “I’ve run a small business myself and understand that smarter and safer workplace practices not only help your employees, they also help your bottom line because you’re able to avoid what can be burdensome federal regulations.”
Since VPP was created in 1982, it has grown to incorporate more than 2,200 worksites around the country.