The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets up numerous programs, including the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), for interested companies to remain in safety and health compliance concerning the workplace. The VPP allows the company's management to develop the most effective safety program to meet OSHA requirements along with encouraging employees to be a part of the program. Yet employers must weigh the disadvantages in joining the VPP.
Mandatory Employer Compliance
For employers to meet the mandatory compliance criteria that OSHA has set, the employers must invest the necessary funding into fixing all workplace sites that could be potentially hazardous. For some industries, such as manufacturing factories, chemical plants and construction sites, this endeavor can be costly for the employers to implement. The improving of the workplace for safety and health compliance can also be time-consuming and labor intensive, which could disrupt normal company operations.
If OSHA has issued citations to a company for a workplace accident or safety violation, then the company must pay the appropriate fines, which can be very costly. OSHA does not willfully hand out violations to a company committed to abating all safety and health issues. Yet the company must pay all fines for current violations within a specific time period or the company may incur a daily fine for every day it does not correct the violations.
Every company strives to maintain compliance with safety and health regulations. Companies in OSHA's VPP are at a disadvantage if they've committed previous offenses. With OSHA aware of the status of the employer's compliance for most of the workplaces in question, OSHA implements verification that the company is fulfilling commitments. This intense scrutiny over questionable workplaces can cause tensions with employers wanting to meet compliance criteria.
OSHA's VPP encourages employee participation, yet this becomes a disadvantage to employers. The National Labor Relations Act may complicate employee involvement along with giving employees too much control over workplace issues. This can develop into management and employee disagreements over health and safety issues.
- "The Future of OSHA: Enforcement and Regulatory Issues"; Dennis J. Morikawa et al; 2002
- United States Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Sec. 17. Penalties
Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Michelle Hickman has written since 2006 on an array of topics including lifestyle, writing instruction and financial services. Her first articles appeared in "The Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Focus Magazine." She holds a certification in computer and information science from Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.