voluntary protection program VPP

Established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1982, voluntary protection programs were introduced as a way to promote collaboration between government, industry, and labor to achieve the common goal of effective worksite safety and health.

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Employers wishing to participate must undergo a rigorous qualification process, including preparation of detailed written documentation of their programs and a thorough onsite inspection. Successful applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to workplace safety and health, especially at senior management levels, to qualify. Participants who qualify for the highest tier of voluntary protection program status (Star level) are removed from OSHA's programmed inspections list. (OSHA retains the right to investigate specific complaints, accidents, and fatalities.) In 1994, the Department of Energy launched a similar program for contractors employed at Department of Energy-owned facilities.