Posts Tagged ‘VPP evaluation’

Safety Training Resources is Prepared to Assist VPP Sites with Training and Guidance

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Jeff Viehmann, president of Safety Training Resources, recently participated in OSHA‘s most innovative on-site evaluation training for its Voluntary Protection Program. Mr. Viehmann was allowed to join qualified applicants from VPP sites to complete the required training to become a “Special Government Employee” (SGE). 

The 3-day SGE training class was held at Monsanto’s Creve Coeur facility and hosted by Jon Alexander.    The SGE training was conducted by Matt Gaines (OSHA’s Region VII VPP Manager), Mike Minicky (OHSA’s Region VII Compliance Assistant Specialist), Bob Sander (SGE – United States Postal Service), and Jon Alexander (SGE – Monsanta). 

The SGE Program was established to allow industry employees to work alongside OSHA during Voluntary Protection Programs‘ (VPP) on-site evaluations.  Not only does this innovative program benefit OSHA by supplementing its on-site evaluation teams, but it gives industry and government an opportunity to work together and share views and ideas.

As VPP grows, the support of SGEs will continue to be a critical component of the programs. The SGE Program encompasses the spirit of VPP – industry, labor, and government cooperation. This cooperation embodies the idea of continuous improvement, which allows SGEs to bring a unique perspective to the team effort and take back to their sites ideas and best practices to further improve worker protections.

As part of a VPP onsite evaluation team, a Special Government Employee (SGE) contributes to the typically week-long assessment of a VPP applicant’s or participant’s safety and health management system. The team duties include but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing the written safety and health management system and supporting documents
  • Conducting a site walkthrough to observe working conditions and to verify that:  hazards have been appropriately controlled, and a comprehensive safety and health management system has been successfully implemented
  • Conducting formal and informal employee interviews.
  • Helping to prepare the written VPP Onsite Evaluation report and sharing finds and recommendations.

All SGEs are initially appointed to a three-year term of service. SGEs serve at the pleasure of the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. Service as an SGE is contingent upon proper ethical conduct.  Mr. Viehmann participated and completed the SGE Training alongside 10 qualified applicants from VPP sites.  Due to Safety Training Resources not being an approved VPP site, Mr Viehmann was not sworn-in as an SGE

Safety Training Resources is prepared to leverage this very exclusive training experience  to assist companies  prepare for their initial VPP evaluation.  In addition, Safety Training Resources is prepared to assist MERIT sites improve their safety and health management systems as they strive for STAR recognition and support STAR sites as they prepare for their recertifications.