OSHA to evaluate voluntary protection programs in response to report
The study -- OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs: Improved Oversight and Controls Would Better Ensure Program Quality -- recommended improved oversight and additional controls to ensure participating companies maintain effective workplace safety and health management systems.
Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said he agreed with the recommendations in the report. The GAO's analysis recommended that the agency strengthen the program's oversight activity, documentation and other aspects of program operations and impact to ensure consistency and adherence to existing OSHA policies and procedures.
Barab noted that OSHA had not adequately addressed the findings of the GAO's 2004 report, OSHA's Voluntary Compliance Strategies Show Promising Results, But Should Be Fully Evaluated Before They Are Expanded.
"The report noted that OSHA had not fully evaluated the effectiveness of its cooperative programs and was therefore ?limited in its ability to make a sound decision about how best to allocate its resources,'" he said. "Our evaluation of these programs in the context of OSHA's limited resources will help ensure that OSHA will be able to reprioritize these resources in the most effective manner."
To address the most recent report's findings and recommendations about the VPP, Barab said OSHA will review and address problems including program management and oversight policies and procedures; documentation policy for actions taken in response to fatalities and serious injuries at VPP sites; and goals and performance measures for the VPP and internal OSHA controls that ensure consistent compliance with VPP policies by the agency's regional offices.
Participation in the VPP encompasses more than 2,200 work sites, covering more than 800,000 employees.
July 13, 2009
Copyright 2009© LRP Publications