Volunteer Worker Protection Program May Become Permanent
A proposal in Congress would make permanent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s successful Voluntary Protection Program. The program recognizes employers, including federal agencies that have established safe and effective health management systems and have kept their workplace injury and illness rates far below the national average.
The Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm Parsons Law Group applauds efforts to keep workers safe by preventing on-the-job injuries.
Under the program, OSHA teams with management and labor on systems involving injury prevention and control, analysis of worksite hazards, training of workers, improved cooperation by management and input from workers.
The program recognizes companies that have done a stellar job maintaining low injury and illness rates and encourages their efforts. Companies that are registered under the Voluntary Protection Program must undergo regular audits of their hazard safety and health management processes and stringent on-site evaluations of their safety procedures.
The program started in 1982, but it has never been formally established as law.
As many as one million workers currently work at approximately 2,500 companies and job sites that are registered under the Voluntary Protection Program. These companies have been certified as being very successful in reducing their injury and illness rates. According to OSHA, the average job site registered under the program has a work day loss rate that is approximately 52 percent lower than the industry average.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.