ASSOCIATES ACHIEVE SPECIAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE DESIGNATION
At Miller Valentine Construction, our safety program has long exceeded the baseline requirements set by OSHA. Now, two of our Associates have been tapped by OSHA to evaluate other companies’ safety policies as well.
In November, Safety Director Perry Gerome and Vice President of Field Operations Dan Ritter were sworn in as OHSA Special Government Employees (SGE). SGEs work alongside OSHA representatives to assist with onsite evaluations for the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). They may also mentor companies that are working to achieve VPP status.
“Our goal every day is for our Associates and trade partners to go home to their families,” said Dan. “I have always had a passion for safety and taking the time to do the job safely. As an SGE, I’ll be helping other companies create the conditions for safer jobsites, as well.”
The VPP recognizes employers that implement safety and health management systems that go above and beyond baseline OSHA regulations. CVPP-certified companies have a Total Recordable Incident Rate that is on average 52% lower than the industry. To be certified, companies must undergo a comprehensive onsite evaluation of their health and safety programs. Miller Valentine has held the VPP designation for our Ohio operations since 2008. In November 2019, we were recertified at the “Star” level – the highest possible designation.
The SGE program helps OSHA extend its limited resources to meet the demand for the rigorous VPP review process. When OSHA reached out to Miller Valentine about participating in the SGE program, both Dan and Perry immediately volunteered.
“The entire concept embodies our philosophy of continuous improvement,” said Perry. “We’ll be sharing ideas and best practices with OSHA and industry representatives. I’m excited to see what other companies are doing and bring back new concepts that we can use to build on our safety program.”
As an added benefit, Miller Valentine may have opportunities to work hand-in-hand with OSHA staff on new initiatives and outreach efforts.
“When OSHA undertakes a new venture, they may reach out to us about participating in the program or brainstorming ideas for rolling it out,” Perry said. “This will give us an opportunity to adopt new programs and push them out to our project sites and, by extension, our trade partners, to get the ball rolling for OSHA.”
The SGE designation is a first for both Associates.
“Safety is very important to me regardless of the title,” Dan said. “But being an SGE will allow me to expand and strengthen safety programs across the industry, which is something I’m excited about.”
“Not many people get to this point in their career,” Perry added. “I’m looking forward to putting eyes on other projects and bringing back fresh concepts.”