NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

Compliance Assistance Through Information Technology

Action: Make safety and health information readily available to the public through a variety of electronic means.

Background: Demand is increasing from employers, employees, other federal agencies, state and local governments, safety and health professionals, and many other organizations and individuals for safety and health information to help provide working men and women with safe and healthful workplaces. To illustrate, one of the Government Printing Office's top selling items since its introduction in 1992, is the OSHA CD-ROM, which provides in one convenient format, a wealth of information about occupational safety and health and OSHA regulations. OSHA recognizes that an informed safety and health community is better able to recognize and protect itself from workplace hazards, and the agency is continuing to expand its ongoing efforts and implement new information-dissemination projects to provide needed safety and health data to the public.

  1. Standards-Setting Activities. OSHA will continue and expand its present efforts to disseminate electronically--for example through the OSHA CD-ROM and the Department of Labor Bulletin Board, DOL-BBS--the text of proposed and final standards to increase public involvement and input in the regulatory process. To involve stakeholders even earlier in the rulemaking process, the agency recently disseminated electronic copy and collected preliminary comments through Internet and the DOL BBS on a draft pre-proposal standard for ergonomics. OSHA expects to use this process routinely for future rulemaking efforts.

  2. OSHA Inspections and Other Activities. OSHA is working with private and public organizations to promote wider dissemination and analysis of the Agency's 20 years' of documented inspections reports and other data from its on-site consultation and anti-discrimination programs. OSHA has provided a number of organizations copies of the data on magnetic tape and is now compiling inspection data on a 2-disk CD-ROM set which will be made available to the public.

  3. Assistance With Existing Standards. OSHA is expanding its efforts to provide employers and employees with electronic access to explanatory and interpretative materials to help them understand and comply with safety and health requirements. Materials are currently available via various means: OSHA's CD-ROM, OSHA's Internet servers, OSHA's fax-on-demand service and the OSHA Computerized Information System (OCIS), which available to the public through DOL BBS. In addition, OSHA has developed a user-friendly software application, available free via OSHA's Internet servers, to assist employers in compliance with the cadmium standard, and a similar application for asbestos is under development. OSHA also is developing in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency the OSHA System for Compliance Assistance and Referral (OSCAR), which is expected to promote easy public access to OSHA standards and interpretations.

  4. Worldwide Safety and Health. OSHA's safety and health information has been available worldwide for several years through the Internet on World Wide Web, GOPHER, and FTP. OSHA will continue to build its World Wide Web homepage, which is already recognized as one of the world's leading locations for safety and health information.

  5. Small Business Initiatives. OSHA is one of several agencies working with the National Performance Review to provide electronic access to regulatory information and services through the Internet. This project will provide small businesses with a convenient means to obtain information about occupational safety and health.

  6. Implementation Plans: OSHA will continue to expand its Internet presence and to work with the business community, other federal agencies, and state and local governments to exchange information on occupational safety and health. Other efforts include the continued development of new expert system software to assist with compliance of standards, expanded dissemination of information on CD-ROM, and development of new multimedia CD-ROM applications for training.

    Areas that have been identified for immediate implementation or piloting are:

    • Expanded Information On Internet via World Wide Web:

      • Presenting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on safety and health issues on OSHA's WWW home page.
      • Statistical data on most frequently cited standards.
      • News Releases.
      • OSHA pamphlets and publications.
      • Training materials available on safety and health on video and audiotape.

    • Expanded Information to be available on CD-ROM:

      • Adding publications and other information to the OSHA CD-ROM.
      • Adding new software for easier viewing of images (photographs, illustrations).
      • Publishing new CD-ROM with all OSHA inspections,

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.