THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS NEW OSHA AT VPPPA'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE Presents Two Hammer Awards To Recognize Excellence in Safety and Health Programs
Addressing the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants Association's (VPPPA) 11th annual conference, Vice President Gore today (9/26) said that the Administration's new approach to regulation is a success, bringing together government and business, labor and management to protect worker safety and health.
"It is about working in partnership with common goals, instead of as adversaries to protect the safety and health of our workers," the Vice President said to VPPPA audience members comprising plant managers and employees, industry safety and health representatives, and government officials. "It's about focusing a lot less on red tape, and a lot more on results. It's about moving authority and responsibility out of Washington, out of the government, and giving it back to the people -- the people who work out where the rubber meets the road."
In February, President Clinton unveiled an Administration plan to bring back common sense to regulation without stripping away safeguards. The effort was part of the National Performance Review to make government work better and cost less, an initiative headed by Vice President Gore.
As part of governmentwide regulatory reform, President Clinton called for fundamental changes in OSHA operations from a system of command-and-control to one that builds partnerships among regulators and business; eliminates or fixes out-of-date and confusing standards and identifies clear and sensible priorities; and targets the most serious hazards and the most dangerous workplaces by insisting on results instead of red tape.
The new national model of OSHA regulation is patterned on the successes of programs such as the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), which is administered by OSHA and the Department of Energy (DOE). VPP recognize worksites for achieving excellence in their safety and health programs through cooperation among labor, management, and the government. Voluntary Protection Programs Participants Association (VPPPA) members are companies or worksites that have either been approved or are pursuing acceptance into OSHA's and DOE's protection programs.
In honor of their work to cut red tape, improve customer service, and bring common sense back to government regulation, Vice President Gore today also presented National Performance Review Hammer Awards to two government workers: Cathy Oliver, the VPP manager for OSHA, and Bill Freeman who expanded the VPP concept in the state of Maine.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Joseph Dear said, "The Voluntary Participation Program is the premier example of partnership between government, management and workers, and is a model for virtually all of OSHA's reinvention initiatives. These are the companies where you want your family, your children, your husband or wife to work."