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By: Stacey Godbold

What Are Some Tips for Becoming a Star VPP Site?

I recently had a great conversation with Maria Salas about OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which you can watch below. 

Maria is the Safety and Health and Environment Manager of Wieland Metal Services, a metal service center that has customers in nearly every industry that uses metals such as copper and brass alloys, aluminum alloys and stainless steel in manufacturing and production. 

Wieland currently has 18 sites, 5 of which have been certified as VPP “Star” sites. 

If you’re new to this topic, here’s what OHSA says about VPP: 

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) promote effective worksite-based safety and health. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

There are two levels of VPP certification. I won’t fully define them here, but I will mention that the “Star” level is the highest, and that the “Merit” level is good, yet still requires additional improvements. 

Over the years, Maria worked with the safety managers at five Wieland sites to attain OSHA’s VPP “Star” status. The rest of Wieland’s facilities are also currently pursuing VPP certification.

But it’s not easy. Also, it takes a substantial amount of effort. And let’s not forget that it certainly requires management support. In my recent podcast episode with Maria, she mentioned that to become certified, you need to have had a very good safety and health program in place for at least a year. Plus, you’ve got to have a good safety record. 

From Wieland’s perspective, underpinning all of this, Maria said, are activities such as: 

  • Doing a gap audit to make sure that you aren’t missing anything. 
  • Implementing corrective actions or processes for items you’re lacking. 
  • Showing sustainment. 

One last thing that I really enjoyed hearing Maria mention during our chat was that, since Wieland has been pursuing VPP, she said that “employee morale is up, employee engagement has increased, and injuries have been reduced.” That’s what it’s all about! 

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This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing:


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