ADOSH - Voluntary Protection Program

Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH)

Brian Hudson, Director

Phoenix Office
800 W Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85007
(PO Box 19070, Phoenix AZ 85005-9070)
Phone: (602) 542-5795
Toll Free: (855) 268-5251
FAX: (602) 542-1614

Tucson Office
2675 East Broadway, Tucson AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 628-5478
Toll Free: (855) 268-5251
FAX: (520) 322-8008

Phone List of ICA Divisions

The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

What is VPP?
The Voluntary Protection Program promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor, and ADOSH establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is ADOSH's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

How was VPP started?
On August 30, 1993, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health submitted a plan change supplement concerning Arizona’s Voluntary Protection Program. After federal review of the Arizona VPP, Arizona’s program was found to be generally identical to the federal Voluntary Protection Programs. The exception is that the state’s VPP is limited to the Star Program in general industry, which includes political subdivisions, but excludes the Merit and Demonstration Programs and the construction industry. Arizona’s VPP Program was approved December 30, 1993.

In Arizona, an applicant must have an average injury incidence rate and lost workday rate for a three-year period that is at or below the national average for the employer’s industry and a comprehensive safety and health program that is and has been in effect for at least one year. A worksite must ensure management commitment to worker safety and health protection, a written safety and health program, worksite analysis of existing or potential hazards, hazard prevention and control, safety and health training, employee involvement in safety and health activities and annual program evaluations. In addition, there must be formal signed statements from any collective bargaining agents indicating their support of the VPP application.

How Does VPP Work?
In practice, VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply, and then assesses applicants against these criteria. ADOSH's verification includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of ADOSH safety and health experts.

ADOSH approves qualified sites to the status of "Star"--the highest recognition level in the VPP. Sites that make the grade must submit annual self-evaluations and undergo periodic onsite re-evaluations to remain in the programs.

How Has VPP Improved Worker Safety & Health?

Statistical evidence for VPP's success is impressive. The average VPP worksite has a Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) case rate of 52% below the average for its industry. These sites typically do not start out with such low rates. Reductions in injuries and illnesses begin when the site commits to the VPP approach to safety and health management and the challenging VPP application process.

How Does VPP Benefit Employers?

Fewer injuries and illnesses mean greater profits as workers' compensation premiums and other costs plummet. Entire industries benefit as VPP sites evolve into models of excellence and influence practices industry-wide.

How Does VPP Benefit ADOSH?

ADOSH gains a corps of ambassadors enthusiastically spreading the message of safety and health system management. These partners also provide ADOSH with valuable input and augment its limited resources.

What is Mentoring?

The mentoring program, formalized in 1994, matches a potential VPP site with a current VPP site. The mentor site helps the candidate improve its safety and health management system and assists managers and employees in preparing for participation in the VPP.

How do I get started?

If you are interested in finding out more about the VPP program, contact Brandon Stowell, Compliance Assistance Supervisor, at (602) 542-1636, or Steve Morgan, Assistant Director, at (602) 542-1694.