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Base commits to VPP on Nov. 5

30 Oct 2014 | Sgt. Rebekka Heite Marine Corps Base Quantico

The base commander, steering committee union representatives and those who volunteered for any of the Voluntary Protection Program subcommittees are invited to meet for a commitment ceremony on Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Clubs at Quantico.

“The base’s goal for VPP is to create an environment that will enhance our ability to work,” said Col. Allen Broughton, Marine Corps Base Quantico chief of staff. “VPP re-enforces our anti-bystander training by encouraging individuals at any level to step up and create a safer environment.”

Contractors, DOD civilians and military members working aboard Quantico are all welcome to volunteer, regardless of pay grade. Committees will meet quarterly and rank does not set the volunteers responsibility level within the committee, dedication does, said Mark Knox, MCB Quantico, Safety Division director. The meetings are considered official duty.

‘Empowering change through our involvement,’ is the slogan and goal for VPP.

“Safety should be a priority to all who work here, whether supervisor or employee,” added Broughton. “VPP holds everybody accountable and ensures we are taking care of each other.”

Participation in VPP is open to the private sector, federal agencies and military worksites where Occupational Safety and Health Administration has jurisdiction. Companies currently using VPP include, but are not limited to, NASA, Raytheon and GE Aircraft Engines.

“It has been credited with saving lives and reducing disability-producing injuries,” said Broughton.

After Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort implemented VPP, workers’ compensation for the base was reduced from $600,000 to $32,000, proving the viability of the program to reduce unsafe work environments.

This reduction is not a one hit wonder.

“Most [companies that have implemented VPP] noted a 50-60 percent reduction in mishaps, lost time and workers’ compensation,” said Knox. “It’s not just about safety. Over time, communication improvements about safety will bleed into other areas.”

“This program is what we make it,” Knox added.

“It’s our program,” added Broughton.