In 1982, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which exempts "model workplaces" from routine inspections. Model workplaces are those that report industry-leading low injury rates.

However, between 2000 and 2011, as OSHA's inspection staff was reduced and VPP membership requirements were relaxed, some 80 workers died at VPP sites, a Center for Public Integrity investigation discovered.

As a result, OSHA is tightening the reins on VPP membership, focusing specifically on incentive programs.

“We’ve seen companies, for example, offer a pizza party or enter workers into a raffle if they met a goal of not incurring reportable injuries over a specified period of time,” OSHA assistant chief Jordan Barab told Congress. “Programs like these, while possibly well intentioned, ultimately discourage workers from reporting injuries. Unreported injuries that are not investigated cannot be used to help prevent future injuries. This is not what we want and ultimately, I do not think it is what VPP participants want, either.”

As a result, companies have reported being told that if they offer any incentive programs, they might not be allowed continued VPP membership.