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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment
Agency 25. Safety And Health Codes Board
Chapter 200. Virginia Voluntary Protection Program

16VAC25-200-80. Onsite evaluations.

A. Onsite evaluation team. An onsite evaluation consists of a thorough evaluation of a VPP applicant's or participant's safety and health management system in order to recommend approval or re-approval. Onsite evaluations are carried out by a team consisting of VOSH staff acting in a nonenforcement capacity, private industry volunteers, and other qualified team members.

B. Onsite evaluation procedures. The commissioner shall establish written procedures for onsite evaluations of applicants and participants undergoing recertification. The procedures shall address issues including:

1. Prioritizing and scheduling onsite evaluations;

2. Inclusion of union representatives, if any, in the opening and closing conferences and the opportunity to accompany the onsite evaluation team on the site walkthrough;

3. Onsite evaluation team composition, qualifications, preparation, and assessment of personal protective equipment needed;

4. Opening conference subjects, review of injury and illness records, incentive programs, document review, walkthrough, review of safety and health management system elements and sub-elements, formal and informal interviews of employees, including applicable contractor employees, and closing conference subjects and recommendations;

5. Employee rights under the program and under VOSH laws, standards, and regulations; and

6. Assuring that employees performing safety and health duties as part of the applicant's safety and health management system will be protected from discriminatory actions resulting from their carrying out such duties, pursuant to § 40.1-51.2:1 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Correction of hazards.

1. As hazards are found and discussed during the walkthrough, the onsite evaluation team must add them to a written list of the uncontrolled hazards identified. This list will be used when the team briefs site management at the end of each day on site.

2. VOSH expects that every effort will be made by the site to correct identified hazards before the closing conference. If hazard correction cannot be accomplished before the conclusion of the onsite evaluation, the onsite evaluation team and site management must discuss and agree upon correction methods and timeframes.

3. The site may be given up to a maximum of 90 days to correct uncontrolled hazards, as long as interim protection is provided. These 90-day items must be corrected before the final onsite evaluation report can be processed. Management must provide the team leader with a signed letter indicating how and when the correction will be made. The team leader may decide to return to the site to verify correction.

4. If, after repeated attempts to reach agreement, site management refuses to correct a situation that exposes employees to serious safety or health hazards, that situation shall be referred for enforcement action.

5. Should any identified hazard be determined to present a risk of imminent danger to life or health of an employee, department personnel shall assure that its procedures for immediately removing employees from exposure to the hazard until corrected are complied with by the applicant or participant.

D. Deficiencies in the safety and health management system. Where the team detects deficiencies in the safety and health management system, even when physical hazards are not present, the onsite evaluation team must document these deficiencies as goals for correction, recommendations for improvement, or both.

1. If the system deficiency is a requirement for VPP at the Star level, it must become the subject of a goal, either a Merit goal or a one-year conditional goal.

2. A deficiency resulting in a one-year conditional goal indicates that a participant no longer fully meets Star requirements. For the conditional status to be lifted, (i) the deficiency must be corrected within 90 days, and (ii) the participant must then operate at the Star level for one year. Failure to meet this requirement will result in termination from VPP in accordance with the requirements of 16VAC25-200-110 C.

3. A Merit goal must be met in order for a site to achieve Star status.

4. Implementation of goals is mandatory for VPP participation. Timeframes, interim protection, and methods of achieving goals must be discussed and agreed to with site management.

5. If improvement of the system deficiency is not necessarily a requirement for VPP, but will improve worker safety and health at the site, the improvement must be a recommendation. Implementation of recommendations is encouraged but is not mandatory for VPP participation.

E. Final analysis of findings.

1. When the documentation review, the walkthrough, and employee interviews have been completed, the onsite evaluation team must meet privately to review and summarize its findings before conducting the closing conference.

2. A draft of the certification or recertification report shall be completed by the team before leaving the site. The draft report must reflect the consensus of the onsite evaluation team.

F. Closing conference. The findings of the onsite evaluation team, including its recommendation to the commissioner, must be presented to site management and appropriate employee representatives before the team leaves the site.

Statutory Authority

§§ 40.1-22 and 40.1-49.13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 9, eff. January 25, 2018.

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