Washington, DC – The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) recently announced that they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on June 15. The 18-month agreement brings the safety organizations together to advance workplace safety and health with a focus on assisting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in modernizing and expanding its longstanding Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).
The strategic partnership was finalized in advance of both organizations participating that day in an OSHA stakeholder meeting about improving the VPP. “ASSP has received strong support from our members to advocate for the enhancement of the VPP,” said Pam Walaski, CSP, FASSP, incoming president-elect of the Society.
The MOU objectives include providing OSHA with a framework that identifies components of occupational safety and health management system consensus standards that meet requirements for VPP qualification and requalification. ASSP and VPPPA will also work together to develop recommendations for a construction and demolition-specific VPP.
“Many of our VPPPA member employees – myself included – are also ASSP members, so coming together to work toward our shared goal of enhancing workplace safety and health through the Voluntary Protection Programs is a natural fit,” said VPPPA Executive Director Chris Williams, CAE. “By combining efforts to develop pathways for other OHSMS users and underserved industry sectors to take part in the VPP, we can positively impact the program’s long-term future.”
The standards emphasized in the MOU include U.S.-based ANSI/ASSP Z10 and global standard ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001. Other standards related to the efforts around construction and demolition operations include ANSI/ASSP A10.1 (pre-planning), ANSI/ASSP A10.33 (multiemployer worksites), ANSI/ASSP A10.38 (general occupational safety and health management principles) and ANSI/ASSP A10.39 (auditing).
“We recognize the benefits of collaboration to improve occupational safety and health practices while elevating the voice of the profession,” said ASSP CEO Jennifer McNelly, CAE. “We strive to eliminate worker illnesses, injuries and fatalities across the board, as does VPPPA, and safety organizations working together improves the ability to achieve that result.”
Since its founding in 1985, VPPPA has grown into a community of more than 1,400 VPP member sites and companies working together to raise the standard for a safe and healthy workplace through collaboration, mentorship and education. ASSP is the world’s oldest professional safety organization with 35,000 members advancing worker well-being since the Society’s inception in 1911.