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Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

An AKOSH Cooperative Program
Promoting Safe and Healthful Jobs For Alaskans

What is VPP?

Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) promote effective worksite-based safety and health performance. In VPP, management, labor, and AKOSH establish cooperative relationships at workplaces to implement a comprehensive safety and health management system. Approval in VPP provides official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health.

VPP was initiated by Federal OSHA in 1982 as a way of encouraging companies to exceed minimum OSHA safety requirements. AKOSH implemented VPP in 1997.

VPP focuses on four key areas necessary to have a comprehensive safety and health program. Those key areas are:

  • Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
  • Worksite Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training

What are the benefits from VPP?

  • On average VPP participants experience 52 percent fewer workplace accidents than their competitors.
  • Fewer accidents lead to lower costs.
  • Less downtime due to accidents leads to increased productivity.
  • VPP MERIT sites are exempt from AKOSH general schedule surprise enforcement inspections for three years. VPP STAR sites are exempt for five years.
  • VPP companies tend to attract and retain top employees.

How does VPP work?

In practice, VPP sets performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, invites sites to apply, and then assesses applicants against these criteria. AKOSH’s verification includes an application review and a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of AKOSH safety and health experts.

AKOSH approves qualified sites to one of three VPP programs:

  1. Star
  2. Merit
  3. Star Demonstration: Recognition for worksites that address unique safety and health issues.
    Sites that make the grade must submit annual self-evaluations and undergo periodic onsite reevaluations to remain in the programs.

How do I get started?

  • The first step toward VPP is to establish a strong safety & health program.
  • AKOSH provides cost-free assistance through the consultation and training section at (800) 656-4972.
  • A written VPP application must be submitted to the AKOSH VPP Coordinator.
  • Complete the application and mail or email to the address listed below
    • Elaine Banda, B.A., M.Ed.
      Chief of Consultation and Training
      1251 Muldoon Road #104
      Anchorage, AK 99504

How do I get involved?

For more information, contact AKOSH:

Alaska Occupational Safety and Health
Consultation and Training
1251 Muldoon Road, Suite 109
Anchorage, Alaska 99504
Phone: (907) 269-4955
Fax: (907) 269-4950
Email AKOSH at: