The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking public comment on an updated version of its voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines. First published in 1989, the guidelines are being updated to reflect modern technology and practices.
These guidelines are intended to help employers establish health and safety management plans at their workplaces. Key principles include finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness, and making sure that workers have a voice in safety and health.
The updated guidelines should be particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized businesses. They also address ways in which multiple employers at the same worksite can coordinate efforts to make sure all workers are protected.
"The goal of safety and health management is to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths," said assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health Dr. David Michaels. "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."
For more information and to review the draft guidelines and provide comment, visit OSHA's Safety and Health Program Management webpage. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2016. Comments can also be posted directly to www.regulations.gov using Docket #OSHA-2015-0018.
The guidelines are advisory only and do not create any new legal obligations or alter existing obligations created by OSHA standards or regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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