In December, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant staff began preparing for an audit by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs.
“Beginning Feb. 20, OSHA staff will be at the site day and night,” said Shelly Ettel, VPP lead coordinator, PCAPP. “On Feb. 23, OSHA will provide their recommendation to approve recertification and/or identify findings that may need to be corrected before recertification approval.”
Ettel said a small VPP steering committee was assembled to conduct mock interviews and to help employees understand the types of questions OSHA will ask. To prepare for the audit, the committee rolled out a roadmap containing 21 major elements, including management commitment, employee involvement, hazard prevention and emergency response.
“Our goals are to strengthen relationships with each other, educate about VPP and prepare the site for the audit,” Ettel said. “The roadmap is an interactive and fun way to help us achieve these goals.”
In 2009, while under construction, the project received OSHA VPP Star Status, the highest recognition for safety practices in the workplace. In 2011, PCAPP received recertification for construction, and in 2015, VPP Star Status was achieved for systemization and operations, the same classification for which the plant will be evaluated next month.