The VPP and Workplace Safety

Pennsylvania workers may want to know about the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), through which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rewards worksites that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to workplace safety. Under the VPP, those workplaces do not have regular OSHA inspections and are exempt from them.

Some labor unions are concerned that employers who have been approved for the VPP program may use it to avoid OSHA enforcement. Currently, more than 2,200 worksites are covered by the program. Critics also point to the fact that resources that would otherwise be used to help employers who struggle with the implementation of workplace safety standards are being pulled away by the VPP.

According to the Government Accountability Office, a 2009 report found that some workplaces that were participating in the VPP were not in compliance with OSHA safety regulations. The report found that the internal controls at OSHA were insufficient to assure the approved worksites were deserving. Currently, a bill is pending in Congress that would codify the VPP, making it a permanent fixture within OSHA. If it is not codified, OSHA could do away with it if it wished to do so.

People who are injured in an on-the-job accident may want to file a claim under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Injured people may benefit by getting the help of a workers’ compensation attorney when preparing to file their claims. An attorney may be able to review the facts and then determine whether the person may be able to claim categories of benefits of which the client may not have been aware.