So, you’re meeting the status quo and passing your safety inspections. That’s great, but it’s no reason to let your safety program stagnate. Why not aim a little higher?
While a no-accident policy is definitely a noble goal and achievable in some industries, it is important to set realistic yet demanding goals. OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) is a great way to start.
VPP essentially recognizes worksites that have gone above and beyond in their health and safety efforts by implementing top-of-the-line safety management systems. Sites awarded by the program are considered exemplary leaders in safety performance and are eligible to receive one of three rankings:
- Star: The highest level of recognition, the Star Program recognizes sites that have achieved injury and illness rates at or below their industry’s average, self-sufficiently control workplace hazards, and boast the most robust, comprehensive safety management programs.
- Merit: Merit sites are on the road to becoming Star-recognized, but need to boost health and safety performance to be considered excellent.
- Star Demonstration: This designation is reserved for worksites that address unique, often sector-specific health and safety concerns and issues.
Many employers might wonder why they ought to exceed basic health and safety requirements and seek recognition through the program. There are many reasons, all of which will contribute to any organization’s social and economic bottom lines:
- Fewer Accidents: On average VPP participants see at least 50 per cent fewer accidents on an annual basis and a Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) case rate of 52 per cent below the average for their industry.
- Increased Productivity and Efficiency: Fewer accidents mean less downtime and a more effective, efficient use of your human capital.
- Reduced Insurance Rates: As your company or worksite demonstrates superior safety performance and encounters fewer or no fatalities or accidents, annual insurance rates will plummet.
- Attract and Retain Talent: Not only will existing employee morale get a boost from your exemplary safety record, being VPP Star-recognized will help your company attract top industry talent who will be lured by your commitment to safety.
- Marketing and Brand Equity: With fewer or no accidents, injuries, fines and fatalities, VPP recognition can ultimately be leveraged with marketing campaigns to boost brand image and attract high-calibre customers.
Achieving VPP recognition is demanding, but completely realistic if a worksite has implemented a robust, streamlined software-based safety management system.