Misunderstanding Cleared up By Program Officials – VPP Continues to Live

            Rumors that OSHA might be considering an end to its Voluntary Protection Programs have apparently been laid to rest.  The VPP Participants Association (VPPPA) issued a press release that confirmed that the program is not on the chopping block.  Its purpose was to quiet rumors that stemmed from comments by Acting OSHA Chief Jordan Barab. 

            Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Barab stated: “We need to better utilize the resources that we already have.  In order to direct more of OSHA’s existing resources into enforcement and to provide time to address concerns in an upcoming GAO report on the efficiency of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program, I have informed the field staff that we will suspend the previous administration’s practice of establishing goals for new VPP sites and alliances.”

            In response to confusion that resulted from the remark, Barab reportedly phoned VPPPA head to confirm that the agency is not suspending VPP, although OSHA may be moving toward a greater emphasis on enforcement.  Barab has since accepted an invitation to address participants at the annual VPPPA conference scheduled for late August in San Antonio.