OSHA to Update Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines
OSHA seeks public comment on an updated version of its voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, which are intended to help employers establish safety and health management plans at their workplaces. The updated guidelines reflect modern technology and practices, including a proactive approach to identifying and addressing hazards before they cause injury, illness, or death, and increasing employee involvement in worker safety and health. For the first time, the document provides information on how employers can improve communication and coordination on multi-employer worksites to better protect workers. OSHA has also incorporated lessons learned from successful approaches and best practices under its Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), and similar industry and international initiatives such as ANSI/AIHA Z10, Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, and OHSAS 18001, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems—Requirements. “Employers who embrace these guidelines will experience lower injury and illness rates, and their progress in improving the safety culture at their worksites will contribute to higher productivity, reduced costs, and greater worker satisfaction,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, PhD, MPH. A draft of the revised document and a set of questions to consider when reviewing the guidelines are available on OSHA’s website. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2016, and will be taken into consideration when OSHA creates a final set of guidelines.