|OSHSPA Reports on State Plan Activities > 2002 OSHSPA Report > Strategic Plans: Focusing on Performance|
|Strategic Plans: Focusing on Performance|
In 1998 federal OSHA required all state plans to include an annual performance plan in their grant application and to meet requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). States were required to submit a five-year strategic plan for 1999-2003. State programs were required to adopt OSHA’s first strategic goal: to "improve workplace safety and health for all workers, as evidenced by fewer hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities." Strategic and performance planning focuses on safety and health outcomes rather than activities.
Most of the state plan states are currently in the fifth year of their first five-year strategic plans. OSHA and all states included decreased injury and illness rates and fatalities for selected industries or worksites in their strategic goals. Over the past four years, the plans provided the state programs with a focus for enforcement and outreach resources, and enabled them to develop results-based measurement systems. The state plans are in the process of evaluating their first strategic plan, as well as developing the next five-year strategic plan. The state plans are dedicated to building on the successes of the first five years, while also moving to address new areas of concern–with the overall goal of focusing resources on activities that result in workplace safety and health improvements.
State plans maintain a strong enforcement presence for employers not meeting their safety and health responsibilities by focusing on worksites and industries with the highest injury and illness rates. One important aspect of a state’s strategic and performance planning is coordination of enforcement, consultation, education and training in targeting hazards, industries and occupations identified in the strategic plans. Cooperative programs and partnerships supplement traditional enforcement methods. Another significant component is emphasis on increased employer and worker awareness of the value and importance of safety and health programs through expanded delivery of targeted outreach. State goals identified in their strategic plan establish the parameters by which federal OSHA evaluates the state program.
Alaska has developed a new five-year strategic plan with three major strategic goals:
As part of California’s high-hazard consultative assistance and high-hazard enforcement, various efficacy outcome measures have been obtained over the years from employers to measure pre-intervention and post-intervention data. Among these measures are injury and illness rates, injury and illness severity rates, number and type of preventable work-related injuries and illnesses, and pertinent data about workers’ compensation claims made and costs per claim.
In reviewing efficacy measures from a sample of high-hazard employers, it has been determined that both the high-hazard consultation program and the high-hazard enforcement program have been effective interventions in reducing injuries and illnesses and workers’ compensation claims. These programs have a continuing role to play as part of Cal/OSHA’s efforts to eliminate workplace hazards, as well as to reduce injuries and illnesses and workers’ compensation losses in California workplaces.
Iowa registered successful results during the last year of their strategic plan. Under their first strategic goal, construction fatalities showed an overall 20.2 percent decrease in these incident rates over four years, which exceeded the targeted goal. Under their second goal, the overall occupational injury and illness incidence rate for Iowa decreased 12.3 percent overall for four years.
Performance outcome measures also showed that 38.7 percent of all IOSHA interventions (formal and informal) were comprehensive interventions that ensured employers in Iowa had either implemented a safety and health program or improved their existing program in FY2002. Iowa showed a significantly improved response time over the previous year in FY2002, with 95.5 percent of the fatality and catastrophe inspections initiated by the next working day, and 97.9 percent of complaints processed within three working days.
Kentucky’s Strategic Plan has targeted five industries in general industry with the highest injury and illness rates in the state. The results have been most satisfying, as the latest figures show that all five industries showed significant decreases in their rates, including two of the categories plunging 30 percent or more by the fourth year of the plan. In the construction industry, Kentucky’s plan focused on reducing sources of injuries initiated by falls and struck-by incidents. Likewise, results have been most gratifying. By the fourth year of the plan, the most recent figures indicate that injuries resulting from falls have decreased 19.4 percent and injuries from struck-by incidents have been reduced by over 41 percent.
The MIOSHA Strategic Plan helped the program target both outreach and enforcement activities toward some of the most hazardous industries in Michigan, including: construction, structural metal products, metal forgings and stampings, nursing/personal care facilities, and public-sector education. MIOSHA also directed their efforts toward reducing ergonomic-related injuries and illnesses, amputations and noise-induced hearing loss.
MIOSHA developed their plan with substantial stakeholder input, and used the team concept to develop the performance goals. Overall, significant improvements have been seen throughout the past four years in Michigan. Workplace fatalities have decreased in most areas, work-related injuries and illnesses have decreased in targeted areas, improvements in customer services have been realized, and the overall commitment to workplace safety and health by employers has increased.
North Carolina established a five-year performance goal of reducing the fatality incidence rate in logging by 20 percent. There were a total of 16 fatalities in the base line year. However, by the end of the fourth year of the strategic plan, the fatality rate had been cut by 47.6 percent, which represented a reduction in fatalities to six. During the first six months of FY 2003, the last year of the strategic plan, the state has not experienced any logging fatalities.
Oregon OSHA’s strategic plan focuses on three major areas: Workplace Culture, Workplace Safety & Health, and Public Confidence. The Workplace Culture goal identifies strategies for assisting employers to become self-sufficient in the area of occupational safety and health. Tools for accomplishing this include the SHARP and VPP recognition programs, safety committee assistance, and workforce education.
The Workplace Safety & Health Goal focuses resources on targeted industries and specific hazards. Oregon OSHA’s strategic plan targets agriculture, construction, food and kindred products, lumber and wood products, and health care. Oregon OSHA has been focusing on identifying and reducing silica, lead-in-construction, and noise over-exposures, and on fall hazards. With the Public Confidence goal, Oregon OSHA is striving to continue a strong relationship with stakeholders through the delivery of high quality services and successful partnerships. Due to a significant revision of the plan in the second year, Oregon OSHA’s 5-year plan will be concluded in FY 2005.
The strategic plan implemented by Tennessee OSHA resulted in reductions in the Lost Workday Incident Rate of 35 percent in Nursing Homes, 20 percent in the Metal Working Industry, and 5 percent in the Construction Industry. The decline in these industries was the result of compliance activity, consultation outreach, training, and employer commitment.
During FY2002, Virginia continued its emphasis on high-hazard worksites. VOSH also initiated regulatory action to provide safeguards to workers in excess of what was mandated by federal OSHA. Beyond the safeguards built in by federal OSHA’s complete rewrite of Part 1926 Subpart R, Steel Erection, VOSH adopted all of the new subpart except for §§1926.760(a), 1926.760(b), and 1926.760(c). VOSH then began the regulatory process to:
Washington’s strategic plan agreement streamlined targeting based on safety and health priorities in partnership with business and labor, and enhanced coordination between WISHA enforcement, consultation and risk management.
Wyoming has access to company specific workers’ compensation data and uses it to determine its safety and health impact after an inspection or consultation visit. They compare the 12-month period before the visit to 12 months after and measure three variables for each company: the number of employees, the number of claims filed and the cost of the claims. Essentially, measuring injury and illness frequency and severity. The compliance inspection and public-sector consultation data for October 2001 through September 2002 showed excellent results. There were a total of 295 companies visited and analyzed. During this period, the visited companies’ employment decreased minimally. However, claims went down from 2956 to 2643, or 10.59 percent–and the costs of these claims decreased from $7,047,698 to $6,289,613, or 10.76 percent.
One of Wyoming’s proven claims reduction methods is to offer an employer the opportunity to reduce claims 12 months after an inspection. If an employer has eight or more claims and they can reduce claims by 25 percent, then the penalty is reduced by 75 percent. The employer pays 25 percent of the penalty within two weeks and after 12 months, Wyoming verifies the number of claims filed and determines if an additional penalty is required. The strategy is performance based, the more claims are reduced, the smaller the penalty. In 2002, 40 employers in this plan reduced total claims by 26.9 percent, and 72.5 percent of the employers met their goal. In the five-year period from 1998 through 2002, employers in this program were successful in reducing total claims by 29.8 percent.
Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming
Previous to the 1998 federal requirement, a number of states–including Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming–had originated unique performance agreements with OSHA. The U.S. Vice President’s Hammer Award recognizes outstanding efforts to make government more efficient and less expensive. In November 1998, Oregon became the first state in the nation to receive the Hammer Award for their performance agreement with federal OSHA.
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