OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) creates a partnership among OSHA, local trades organizations, subcontractors, clients and Torcon to promote the safest and most healthy workplaces.
VPP recognizes the value of safety management practices that go beyond simple OSHA compliance and rewards Star sites by removing them from routine inspection visits.
Torcon began its involvement with VPP certification at the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Life Science Building construction project in Summit, New Jersey. In May 1993, the project became the only new construction site in the U.S. to achieve Star status. Since 1993, Torcon has earned an industry-leading 22 VPP Stars. Three of our project sites have also been recertified as VPP Stars by OSHA, a process that occurs after three years in the Program.
OSHA VPP comprises four basic principles:
- Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
- Worksite Analysis
- Hazard Prevention and Control
- Safety and Health Training
The benefits of involvement in VPP include:
- Risk assessment and elimination of injuries and illnesses
- Improved employee motivation to work safely, leading to better quality and productivity.
- Empowering Labor-Management Safety Committees
- Reduced workers’ compensation costs
- Recognition in the community for our clients
- Improved partnering relationships among all team members.
- Continuous quality improvement of programs through the VPP review.
The VPP application process is rigorous to assure that only the best programs qualify. VPP sites generally experience from 60 to 80 percent fewer lost workday injuries than would be expected of an “average” site of the same size in their industries. An essential part of VPP is mentoring other companies—clients, subcontractors and competitors alike—in adapting their organizations to VPP.
A Culture of Safety
All Torcon projects generally operate within VPP guidelines (regardless of Star designation). This commitment to VPP has helped create a culture at Torcon that results in safer, cleaner, more organized sites. Contractors and workers at our job sites understand Torcon's unique safety approach and recognize they will be held to a higher standard. These types of behavioral changes are exactly what Torcon is seeking to achieve through VPP. Our pursuit of safe workplaces has also included mentoring subcontractors, client organizations and other construction managers, as well as an active involvement with VPPPA nationally.