Monday, January 27, 2014

Rapid Improvement Workshops – Delivering and exceeding the VPP purpose

The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) states its purpose is to help “management, labor and OSHA to work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and management commitment and worker involvement.”

The Caterpillar Safety Perception Survey provides statistically valid safety culture data, which is then analyzed by a consultant. From the data, problem areas are identified and can be selected by a Safety Steering Team as an improvement initiative to be applied in a Rapid Improvement Workshop (RIW).  The RIW implements a continuous improvement process specifically focused on the proactive engagement of management, supervision and front-line workers to analyze the root causes of and eliminate the possibility of incidents throughout the workplace.  Additionally, we help customers tackle safety culture issues that both include and go beyond hazard analysis and similar components of VPP.  The VPP approach has two significant levels of achievement: Star – where injury rates are below industry average, and Merit – where the company strives to achieve Star status within three years.

With the exception of not bringing OSHA personnel into our process, we have been able to deliver and exceed the VPP purpose.  By using the Caterpillar RIW approach, our customers have engaged all levels of the organization to work towards the objective of achieving below-average injury and illness rates within the industry in less than three years.   To read about our customers’ successes with this approach, visit

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