MCAS Cherry Point News


Cherry Point continues on road of excellence with VPP

2 Dec 2014 | Cpl. U. Roberts Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point safety personnel encourage service members and civilians to embrace the Voluntary Protection Program as the air stations official safety standard, which ensures employees are safe in the workplace.

VPP is a set of programs that promotes effective worksite-based safety and health measures that effectively identify, evaluate, prevent and control occupational hazards in the workplace. VPP was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1982 to prevent illness and injury in the workplace.

The program is set to preserve human resources by encouraging employers to set specific standards that promote safety and ensure employees work in safe conditions. The goal is to be proactive about workplace injuries, not reactive, according to Lt. Cmdr. Amy Varney, the installation's safety manager.

The four main components of VPP are management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. With the four components in place, leaders in the workplace have the necessary tools to prevent workplace injuries.

Although it is still too early to tell if workplace injuries on Cherry Point have decreased, VPP is essential in reducing the number of workplace mishaps, said Varney.   

"It is clear that other commands that use VPP have experienced dramatic reductions in the total number of workplace mishaps, and days away from the job as a result of a mishap,” said Varney.  “The VPP program works."

Cherry Point is now on its way to earning the VPP "star" status with the official kickoff expected in January 2015. 

Star status is the highest and most challenging VPP participation category. It is only given to sites that achieve and maintain injury and illness rates at or below the national average in their respective industries.  Some of the benefits of earning star status include dramatic decreases in workplace injury and reduced frequency of mandatory OSHA safety inspections due to the workplace's proved sustained record of excellence.

"Until we apply for VPP star, the DoD Safety Management Center of Excellence will review our processes and assess our compliance annually," said Edward Scott, the deputy director of safety and standardization at the air station. 

An analysis is being conducted at Cherry Point December 2-4.

"The good thing about VPP is that it gets the employees involved," said Scott.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point