Washington, D.C. - U.S Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced a bill today to make permanent one of the most successful workplace health and safety programs for both public and private employers.
The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Act would codify a successful program operated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to encourage 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. Participating worksites must implement safety and health management programs, and maintain below-average injury and illness.
"Workers throughout Colorado and the country should be safe in their workplaces," Bennet said. "VPP is a proven model that encourages labor and management to work together to improve the safety of their work environments. Our bill ensures that OSHA can continue to use this successful and cost-effective program to ensure the health and safety of Colorado workers."
"As a former small business owner, I understand both 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 encouraged a culture of health and safety in the workplace that is great for workers along with saving the government and private sector hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding injuries and illness. It is important that Congress cement this successful program to help ensure that it persists, as well as to ensure that it can grow to include more of America's small businesses."
Since VPP was created in 1982, it has grown to incorporate more than 2,200 worksites.