Workplace Fatality May Remove Employer from Voluntary Protection Program

Dangerous Work

A recent directive from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration could result in an employer’s removal from the Voluntary Protection Program in the event of a workplace fatality or multiple injuries.

Employers under this program are generally exempt from OSHA programmed inspections and enjoy other benefits if they meet certain criteria. More than 2,300 employers participate in the program.

The Voluntary Protection Program has been severely criticized by the Government Accountability Office for allowing companies that reported workplace fatalities to remain in the program.

Under the new directive, a workplace death or catastrophic accident that results in injuries to three or more workers can trigger an inspection. The employer will be placed on inactive status in the program as long as the investigation is ongoing. If the investigation finds that the employer committed a willful violation, its membership in the program could be terminated.

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.

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