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News | Sept. 7, 2022

DLA Disposition Services welcomes OSHA inspectors for VPP recertification

By Kelly Burell DLA Disposition Services

Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services is one of five major subordinate commands that participates in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.

Group photo.
Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center VPP Team
Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center Voluntary Protection Program team.
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 220907-D-D0441-505
VPP is an OSHA program that recognizes employees and managers who have adopted effective safety and health management systems maintaining injury rates below the national average. 

Since 2013, DLA Disposition Services has been certified in the Star Program category. Other program categories include Merit and Demonstration.

The Star Program recognizes excellence in safety and health practices at worksites where employees are protected from injury and illness through comprehensive safety and health management systems. These worksites are self-sufficient in identifying and controlling workplace hazards.

During the recertification process, each site is evaluated to determine continued eligibility for the site-based participation as Star VPP status.  

Man sitting at a desk with a woman while reviewing documents.
Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center VPP Team
Michigan OSHA VPP Auditor Aaron Gundrum inspects documents during Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center VPP recertification inspection.
Photo By: Kelly Burell
VIRIN: 220830-D-YU183-002

“The VPP program is not a safety program, it’s an employee driven program,” explains the DLA Disposition Services Safety and Occupational Health Manager Bill Cohoe. “Managers and employees are the reason why we were successfully recertified in 2017.”

Participation in VPP is a partnered effort by all of the tenants at the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center to include DLA Disposition Services, DLA Installation Management, DLA Logistics Operations, DLA Information Operations, and the American Federal of Government Employees.

During the recertification process, OSHA inspectors praised the partnership for its COVID efforts, COVID re-entry plan, and all-around great teamwork between leadership and AFGE.

“The inspectors said that they have never seen support for VPP in the AFGE Master Labor Agreement,” Cohoe said. “That really shows how committed we are to cultivating a safety culture at HDFIC. Getting VPP is hard enough, but to maintain it is even more difficult. By the inspection process, we have to show improvements after each inspection.”

The inspection is a week-long endeavor as OSHA inspectors collect information by reviewing documents on-site, interviews with employees and management, evaluation of annual reports and a physical observation of the facility.  Results are not published immediately and can take up to two months for the final outcome.