By Mario Icari, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- NAVFAC Southwest kicked-off Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Nov. 30 with training about the safety program at its Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL) Public Works Department (PWD).
"VPP is a partnership that we want to have between management, the workforce, and the union," said NAVFAC Southwest Public Works Officer (PWO) for NBPL Cmdr. Jeremy Ramberg. "Safety is a culture. It's not a policy. It's not a regulation. It's not guidance. It's not dictated. We want to create a culture of inclusiveness where we are all the same in doing a good job in saving each other."
Ramberg and NAVFAC Southwest Deputy PWO James Sanfedele displayed their leadership commitment and support for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) VPP. Ramberg and Sanfedele explained the purpose of VPP and the benefits it brings to NAVFAC Southwest personnel at NBPL PWD.
The training was conducted in four training sessions to ensure all employees had the opportunity to attend.
"It's not the supervisor's responsibility for safety, it's not the employee's responsibility for safety - it's everybody's responsibility for safety," said Sanfedele. "We want to work together to make sure your ideas are coming forward. We are hearing what you are saying and we are implementing changes in the work environment to make it safer for you all."
VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health. Management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system. They 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.
Approval into VPP is OSHA's official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees. VPP recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.