VPP Requirements

Photo courtesy of OSHA. An effective safety and health program is the key to success A fully implemented and ongoing safety & health program is the key to success Photo courtesy of OSHA.
  • An effective, ongoing safety and health program -

    A strong safety and health program exemplifies commitment to the prevention of occupational illness and injury beyond satisfying the requirements of WISHA standards. It is the central element which qualifies a company for participation in the Voluntary Protection Programs. Companies participating in Star or Merit are expected to have comprehensive programs including elements such as employee participation and annual comprehensive self-evaluation. WISHA assesses the effectiveness of the program through a number of measures including onsite review.

  • Cooperation -

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    A cooperative atmosphere is essential to make voluntary protection work. Companies are required to use a labor-management approach which includes joint labor safety and health committees. Companies must demonstrate that the collective bargaining agent(s) representing their employees, if any, support the company's participation. It is important under all Voluntary Protection Programs that both employers and employees recognize that they retain their rights and responsibilities under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA).

  • Good performance -

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    Although performance levels required vary with individual Voluntary Protection Program, the company must demonstrate that its efforts are working to minimize injury and illness in the workplace. Two indicators are the Bureau of Labor Statistics injury/illness recordable incidence and days away/restricted work activity incidence rates. If in the public sector, your experience factor for your workers' compensation rate is used. Also, the company must have demonstrated good faith in any previous dealings with DOSH.

Additional Information

  • Star -

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    Targeted for companies with comprehensive, successful safety and health programs. Companies that are in the forefront of employee protection as indicated by injury and illness rates below their industry average. Star participants are evaluated every three years, although their incident rates and the companies' self-assessment of their safety and health programs are reviewed annually.

  • Merit -

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    Merit is an effective stepping stone to Star. Merit sites may have more general management systems but must set goals for meeting Star requirements. Merit applicants must agree to specific goals for enhancing their safety and health program to meet Star requirements. Merit participants are evaluated onsite annually.

    (If DOSH determines that an employer has demonstrated the commitment and possesses the resources to achieve Star with three years, Merit is awarded).

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