Spotlight On VPP – What It Means, Why It Matters

May 25, 2018

The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) is an Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) initiative that encourages companies and federal agencies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, and cooperation between management and workers. VPP enlists worker involvement to achieve injury and illness rates that are below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.

To promote the VPP initiative, OSHA established a set of performance-based criteria for safety and health management systems and programs. They invite companies to apply for the VPP program and then assess applicants against this criteria. If criteria is met or exceeded, a STAR or Merit certification is awarded. STAR is the highest level awarded and recognizes employers and employees for developing and implementing continuous improvement in workplace safety and health management programs that result in injury/illness rates below the national average. Merit is for employers and employees that have implemented good programs but require additional improvements.

Safety and operations representatives from Sturgeon Electric’s Henderson, CO district were recognized at the Voluntary Protection Program’s Participants’ Association (VPPPA) Annual Conference in May for achieving and maintaining VPP STAR status 10 years in a row. Pictured left to right: Regional Safety Manager (C&I) Zach Valdez, Regional Vice President (T&D) Mark Sterkel, OSHA VPP Region 8 Coordinator Brad Baptiste, District Manager (T&D) Mark Hoffman, and Regional Safety Manager (T&D) Mike McClure. Mike McClure also received the 2018 Bervin Award for Outstanding Safety Leadership.

Excellence in VPP – Congrats!

Sturgeon Electric Company, Inc. (Henderson, CO) applied for the VPP program in 2008 and was certified at STAR status, which they have consecutively maintained year-over-year to date. They recently underwent a formal OSHA VPP audit (which occurs every three years) and was once again certified at STAR status for 2018.

Why does VPP certification matter?

Maintaining STAR certification in the VPP program signals to our clients, prospects, and employees that the safety and health of employees is our number one priority. Through our actions, behaviors, and commitments to achieving excellent safety performance, it also signifies that we are among the best in the industry. This provides peace of mind and instills confidence in our clients, prospects, and employees that we constantly aim to keep our people and worksites as safe as possible.