April 8, 2019

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Congress Introduces Bipartisan Voluntary Protection Programs Act

Falls Church, VA - In a bipartisan effort to promote workplace safety, U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives introduced identical bills to make the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) a permanent part of workplace safety in American industry.

Four Members of the Senate House, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee introduced S. 904: Senators Michael Enzi (R-WY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mike Braun (R-IN). In the House of Representatives, Labor and Education Committee Members David Roe (R-TN) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) were joined by California Representatives Ro Khanna (D) and Mike Thompson (D) in introducing an identical bill, H.R. 1956, with Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) cosponsoring.

A bipartisan mix of 70 Members of the House and Senate sponsored or cosponsored identical legislation in the 116th Congress. State legislatures in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, Maryland and North Carolina have passed similar legislation in recent years.

VPP recognizes workers, managers and companies that use best practices that go above and beyond the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) minimum safety requirements to enhance workplace safety and health. VPP worksites significantly reduce injuries and illnesses for approximately one million American workers in traditionally hazardous occupations at 2,200 worksites across the country, including 700 participating local unions. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are saved annually through VPP and companies with VPP initiatives in place enjoy injury and illness rates that are more than 50 percent below industry averages.

“The VPP Act is critical because it ensures the permanence of a lifesaving program,” said J.A. Rodriguez Jr., Chairman of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA). “VPPPA is committed to this legislation because it gives a million workers and their employers assurance that they are committing their time, training and resources to a program that will always be there for them.”

VPPPA, Inc., is the world’s leading organization dedicated to cooperative occupational safety and health management systems. The more than 2,200 VPPPA member sites consist primarily of worksites that have been approved, or are seeking approval, into VPP as administered by OSHA, state-plan OSHA and the U.S. Department of Energy. VPPPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.