VPP: What It Takes to Be a Star; the Companies That Participate in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs Have Some of the Best Occupational Safety and Health Programs in the Country. What Does It Take to Join VPP, and What Does It Take to Stay a Star?

By Smith, Sandy | Occupational Hazards, August 2005 | Go to article overview

VPP: What It Takes to Be a Star; the Companies That Participate in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs Have Some of the Best Occupational Safety and Health Programs in the Country. What Does It Take to Join VPP, and What Does It Take to Stay a Star?


Smith, Sandy, Occupational Hazards


It's a little ironic. John Storm wants to take time out of his schedule to talk about his facility's participation as a Star site in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs, but he's busy--very busy--he explains via a preliminary e-mail.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Storm's been thinking about stars quite a bit; as the director of Facilities Management Services, Space Gateway Support, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, he's one of many people helping to ensure the space shuttle Discovery has a safe and successful flight to the stars.

Space Gateway Support (SGS), a joint venture created to provide launch support and base operations services to Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick Air Force Base, is one of nearly 1,300 worksites--a number that is growing on an almost daily basis--participating in VPP through state plans and federal OSHA. Talking to Storm, the effort and commitment required to become a VPP Star becomes apparent.

"Our proposal to the government included our commitment to become an OSHA Star company and in doing so, demonstrate to our customers and our employees our core value of workplace safety and health excellence," says Storm. "Our contract was awarded on Oct. 1, 1998. We immediately began the planning and preparations for submitting our VPP application to OSHA. Our application was accepted, and our first OSHA on-site inspection was conducted in October 2001."

This initial visit, he went on to say, consisted of approximately 15 OSHA VPP special government employees (SGEs--they are employees of VPP sites who have received training from OSHA in how to conduct onsite audits) and OSHA field compliance specialists who carried out what Storm calls "an extremely thorough" evaluation of the facility, perused safety and health records and written programs and conducted in-depth interviews with employees.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

While the thought of not one but of many OSHA "inspectors" on site can send a chill through the heart of even the toughest safety manager, Storm seems almost elated by the experience, calling it "an outstanding opportunity to learn from our evaluators and improve our program." Although the evaluation process turned up some problem items, says Storm, Space Gateway Support was able to correct them immediately.

He adds, "The great part of the inspection process was the interaction between the inspectors and the floor-level shop employees." The visitors from VPP were "experts with many, many years of safety and health experience," says Storm, who commends them for their efforts to mentor and educate Space Gateway Support employees.

The facility completed its VPP audit with no major findings, 13 best practices and a Star.

1,300 AND COUNTING

In 1979, VPP took its first baby steps, when California began an experimental program similar to VPP. In 1982, OSHA formally announced VPP and approved the first site. In 1998, federal worksites became eligible for VPP.

The Bush administration has placed an emphasis on cooperative programs and alliances, and former Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw "challenged the safety and business communities to grow this program significantly," notes Paula White, OSHA's director of Cooperative and State Programs. In fact, in 2004, Henshaw threw down a gauntlet and said he'd like to see 8,000 worksites participating in VPP.

"I called that his challenge and my nightmare," jokes White, who adds that current Acting OSHA Administrator Jonathan Snare is equally as committed to the program.

VPP sets performance-based criteria for management commitment, employee involvement, hazard recognition and mitigation and employee training; invites sites to apply; and then assesses applicants against the criteria. OSHA's verification process includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts that includes, in some cases, SGEs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

VPP: What It Takes to Be a Star; the Companies That Participate in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs Have Some of the Best Occupational Safety and Health Programs in the Country. What Does It Take to Join VPP, and What Does It Take to Stay a Star?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.