About Us

Our mission is to be a leader in health and safety excellence through cooperation among communities, workers, industries and governments.

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association, Inc. (VPPPA) comprises a global community of dedicated safety and health professionals empowering occupational safety culture across more than 50 industries. VPPPA, The Premier Global Safety and Health Organization, is the leading organization committed to occupational safety, health and environmental management systems and has created a complex network of cooperation between companies, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state OSHA leaders, members of congress, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

For more than three decades, the association has provided its members a direct link to a depth of resources at OSHA, DOE and similar agencies within state-plan states and continues to offer a support network for participants from a wide variety of industries. More than 2,300 companies provide the support needed to ensure all companies in the U.S. and around the world continue striving for and achieving a stronger culture of safety excellence.

VPPPA provides occupational safety, health and environmental leaders with networking and educational opportunities, up-to-the-minute legislative information, industry advancements, preferred vendors and consultants dedicated to VPP and safety and health management systems, mentoring opportunities, professional development and volunteer opportunities.

Our members make up a cross section of the best of the best, the safest, most innovative and most passionate ambassadors for the safety and health community. We educate, we advocate, and we collaborate.

What is VPP?

The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) is a safety and health management system that prevents workplace accidents and fatalities. VPP is for companies seeking safety and health excellence by implementing additional voluntary compliance measures that go above and beyond the requirements of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) rules and procedures. Operated by OSHA, OSHA state-plan states and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), VPP is designed to promote excellence in safety and health by recognizing facilities with outstanding occupational safety and health management systems.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration VPP

Adopted on July 2, 1982, OSHA's VPP recognizes worksites that have achieved and are maintaining excellence in worker safety and health protection through cooperation among government, industry and labor. VPP is composed of three different programs:

Star - recognizes sites that have distinguished themselves with the highest level of safety and health excellence;

Merit - recognizes sites that have good safety and health programs, but must take additional steps to reach Star quality;

Star Demonstration - recognizes worksites that have Star quality safety and health programs, but requires demonstration and/or testing of experimental approaches that differ from current Star requirements.

A site that applies for participation in VPP must submit a written application that addresses the major elements of the program: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control and safety and health training. An onsite review by OSHA officials to evaluate the workplace safety and health program and to interview employees at the facility is the final stage of the application process. To maintain VPP status, sites must undergo additional OSHA audits every three years and show improvement during each evaluation.

Further information regarding OSHA's VPP can be found on the Agency's website

Department of Energy (DOE) VPP

In 1994, DOE developed and implemented DOE-VPP, which is closely modeled on the OSHA program. The primary difference between DOE’s program and OSHA’s program is that participation is open to contractors employed at DOE-owned facilities.

DOE officials regularly attend and participate in VPPPA conferences, workshops and meetings and are heavily involved in VPPPA activities.

State-Plan State VPP

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 encourages states to develop and operate their own
VPP safety and health programs. Currently, 22 states and jurisdictions operate complete state-plans covering private sector, state and local government employees, while five states (CT, IL, NJ, NY and VI) cover public employees only. VPP offered by state-plan states must be at least as effective as federal VPP programs.