VHV’s Evolution of Safety

Picture of Erica Peet
by Erica Peet | June 11, 2024

VHV, a leading full service mechanical construction and service company that focuses on the safety and wellbeing of its employees, is celebrating 75 years of operation in 2024. Over the past seven and a half decades, VHV has seen significant changes in the way its workers look, dress, and are protected when it comes to safety. From the types of work boots worn to the latest technology in safety gear, VHV has always tried to stay ahead of the curve to ensure the safety and well-being of its workforce.

In 1949, when VHV first started, safety gear and regulations were not as stringent as they are today. Workers may have worn simple leather boots and maybe a hard hat, but the level of protection they provided was minimal compared to what is available today. Fast forward to 2024, and workers at VHV are equipped with state-of-the-art safety gear such as high-tech Type II hard hats with 5-point chin straps, impact-resistant safety glasses, Kevlar cut-resistant gloves, and steel or composite-toed work boots. These advancements have greatly enhanced the safety and protection of workers, reducing the risk of injuries on the job.

However, it wasn't just the gear that changed over the years. The introduction of OSHA in 1970 marked a significant milestone in workplace safety. President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act into law, which aimed to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for every working man and woman in the nation. This legislation had a profound impact on VHV, all businesses for that matter, as it set standards for workplace safety and provided guidelines for compliance. From that point on VHV has had to adapt its policies and procedures to stay in line with OSHA regulations. VHV is continually training employees, purchasing the latest and great PPE, to stay up on all the newest requirements.

One of the key components of the OSH Act was the establishment of the Secretary of Labor, who was tasked with developing and maintaining an effective program for occupational safety. This included the collection, compilation, and analysis of occupational safety data to identify hazards, enforce regulations, and promote safety in the workplace. In addition to other workplaces VHV had to start documenting injuries and submitting data to OSHA and per the direction of the Secretary this information also had to be shared with the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). BLS is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. IT is the principal fact-finding agency in the broad field of labor economics and statistics and serves as part of the US Federal Statistical System. BLS collects, calculates, analyzes, and publishes data essential to the public, employers, researchers, and government organizations.

The implementation of the OSH Act brought about a new era of safety consciousness in the workplace. Companies like VHV had to adapt to the new regulations and requirements to ensure the health and well-being of their employees. This shift towards a safety-first approach not only improved working conditions but also led to a reduction in workplace injuries and fatalities. OSHA provided directions for companies like VHV and rules and policies requirements for us to go by, which had a great impact to VHV’s safety over the last 50 years. It was around this time that VHV’s culture of believing that worker safety, quality craftsmanship, and productivity are not mutually exclusive priorities – rather, they are interconnected aspects of a successful and sustainable business. VHV determined that it never wants employees to forsake one priority for another, as the company believes that all three are essential to the long-term success and longevity of the business.

As VHV celebrates its 75th year in business, it's important to reflect on the progress made in the safety side of the business. From the evolution of safety gear to the impact of regulations like OSHA, VHV has come a long way in ensuring the safety of its workforce. Looking ahead to the next 75 years, VHV will continue to prioritize safety and invest in the latest technologies and practices to protect its employees and uphold its commitment to providing safe and healthful working conditions. VHV stands proud of the strides it has made in creating a safe environment for its employees. After over six decades VHV is now 100% Employee Owned and like the owners that started the business all of the current owners look forward to continuing to prioritize worker safety, providing the highest quality of craftsmanship in our trade, while also staying committed to a productive workday.

Erica Peet

About Erica Peet

Erica Peet is the Safety Officer and Labor Coordinator at VHV, and works diligently to promote the importance of safety in everything we do.

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