The name Mel James is synonymous with safety at L&I. In 1982, OSHA began the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), and in the mid-1990s, after much work and dedication, Mel brought VPP to Washington State.
Mel passed away on May 3, 2015. In his honor, we established the Melvin E. James Honorary Lectures on Safety, which continue Mel's legacy of making safety a top priority in the workplace.
2023 Voluntary Protection Program Seminar:
Melvin E. James Honorary Lectures on Safety and Health
On March 21, 2023, the annual seminar returned as an in-person event, with over 100 people registered to attend in person. The 10th annual seminar's theme was "50 Years of the Washington Industrial Safety & Health Act."
Darren James, VPP Manager & Joel Sacks, L&I Director
Welcome and opening remarks.
Rick Gleason, CSP, CIH, Associate Teaching Professor, University of Washington
Rick discussed the State Plan agreement between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and L&I that administers WISHA through DOSH. Rick shared historical facts, data, and personal experiences from his years as an inspector for OSHA and DOSH.
Justin Molocznik, MS, CSP, CHST, Safety Director, JTM Construction
The presentation discussed the psychological phenomena known as “Negativity Bias”. Through a great deal of research, self-reflection, and practical application, the presenter has created some parallels between occupational safety, how it is understood within organizations, and the negativity bias. The objective of this presentation is to educate the audience on negativity bias, how it can impact their safety programs, and how to recognize it and intervene.
Mandi Kime, MS, BS, BA, CSP, CHST, Director of Safety, AGC of Washington
Attendees learned more about current statistics related to mental health in the workplace, why mental health is a workplace issue and how to engage locally and nationally on this important issue with task forces. All attendees received a site of free and open-source resources to deploy within their organizations.