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Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
For Immediate Release
April 13, 2005
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428

VPPPA: the conference for workplace safety and health leaders

The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) invites Oregon employers ready to make an advanced commitment to workplace safety and health to attend the 11th annual Region X VPPPA Conference, May 3-5 in Boise, Idaho.

The conference will highlight participation in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), a workplace safety-and-health-management program that encourages employers to voluntarily meet advanced workplace safety standards to protect workers and reduce injuries. Employers who may be interested in expanding their workplace safety and health program to a superior performance level are encouraged to attend and hear about the program's benefits from current VPP members.

Conference topics include:

  • Effective Accountability Systems
  • Employee Involvement
  • High-Level Safety Persuasion

The conference is presented at the Doubletree Hotel Riverside in Boise, Idaho. Registration fees for the conference are $175 to attend both Wednesday and Thursday conference sessions. Attend any single day for $95. Two pre-conference workshops - "VPP Application Workshop" and "Human Errors and How to Prevent Them" are available on Tuesday May 3. The fee for the VPP Application Workshop is $250 and the fee for the Human Errors and How to Prevent Them workshop is $50. All registration fees include lunch for the day in attendance. More than 20 exhibitors will offer demonstrations and introduce their products or services.

Registration materials for the conference are available on the Oregon OSHA Web site at www.orosha.org/conferences. You may call the Oregon OSHA conferences section at (503) 378-3272 to get additional information.

To achieve VPP status, a work site must undergo an extensive Oregon OSHA review of workplace conditions, safety records, employee safety and health programs, and regulatory compliance, including interviews with employees. Evaluators review 19 program elements including management commitment to safety, employee participation, self-inspection, safety and health training, emergency programs and drills, and preventive maintenance. Oregon OSHA's VPP employers are removed from routine scheduled inspections for the duration of their participation. Employees do not lose any rights under the program. Oregon OSHA still investigates accidents, formal complaints and chemical spills.

Currently, seven sites in Oregon qualify for VPP status; VPP sites are Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill, Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill, Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill, Kerr McGee Chemical in The Dalles, Marvin Wood Products in Baker City, PW Eagle in Eugene and Timber Products Spectrum Division (TP Spectrum) in White City.

The conference is a partnership between the DCBS Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Region X Voluntary Protection Program Participants' Association (VPPPA).