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Welcome to the newest edition of the Behavioral Health Q&A Column! VPPPA has partnered with experts at MindWise Innovations to present a monthly Q&A article addressing questions that members might be hesitant to ask about. These columns will address your questions about mental health, substance abuse, brain injuries, family issues and more. Stay tuned for future articles and to find out how to submit your own questions to the experts. We will be posting a new column on the third Thursday of each month. 

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A suicide occurs every 11 minutes in the United States. These incidents touch every industry. However, some industries in particular have felt the impact of suicide in recent years—construction, extraction, mining, fishing, farming and forestry. A CDC study found that in 2012 and 2015, suicide rates were highest among males, ages 45–64, in these industries, which tend to be male-dominated.

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VPPPA, UCOR, and BCSP recognize that worker involvement and ownership are paramount to safety performance success. Organizations that sponsor STS and STSC certifications for workers at all levels have a distinct advantage in safety performance, as workers have the competence and confidence to take ownership of the risk-based decisions being made in the field. UCOR empowers workers on the front line by investing in BCSP’s STS and STSC certifications, a best practice in attaining the VPP Star of Excellence and maintaining VPP Star status.

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OSHA has begun paying closer attention to worker safety with nonprofit organizations in the last few years, awarding nearly $11 million to help high-risk workers. Safety standards have begun to shift to having heavier regulations more akin to for-profit companies, helping to protect those in the employ of nonprofits. As some adopt new health and safety models to work towards a safer work environment, there’s always more to be done. The United States is home to as many as 1,500,000 nonprofits, a number that grows with each passing day. But with nearly three million workplace injuries registered, how can nonprofits set the benchmark for safety standards?

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When I worked on-site at Access Compliance’s Latham, NY, office, I remember the routine safety checks and making sure there weren’t safety hazards that could disrupt work or cause harm. Now that I work from home, I don’t necessarily have those mandatory, standard checks, so it is especially important I am aware of dangers I may face.

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