The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management through a cooperative program between a company's management, employees, and AKOSH.
In Alaska, there are nine sites designated AKOSH VPP.
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In order to engage the AKOSH consultant services, companies must fill out a Consultation and Training Services request form.
Interestingly enough, when a company is engaging the services of the Consultation and Training Division, they are exempt from scheduled inspections from the Enforcement division, home of the "OSHA Inspector." The two divisions are separate entities under the same roof, and they share a common mission: "to work in partnership with Alaskan employers and workers towards the elimination of workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths and to assist employers in complying with state and federal regulations relating to occupational safety and health," according to the AKOSH Strategic Plan for 2014-2018.
's main goals remain aligned for the prevention of occupational injury and their suite of no-cost services to employers include training, site evaluation, consultation, and advice, in order to achieve a safe and healthy workplace.
"There are certain vertical standards, such as those for lead exposure, which have very strict requirements," explains AKOSH Industrial Hygienist John E.
Companies who want to be proactive can sign up with AKOSH to have their sites inspected as a way to determine what needs to be done to keep employees safe.
Companies that partner with AKOSH
and achieve SHARP status are likely to experience fewer workplace accidents and reduced workers' compensation insurance costs.
VPP Merit sites earn exemption from AKOSH
general schedule surprise enforcement inspections for three years.