NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and no longer represents OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


Measuring OSHA's Performance--Shifting from Tracking Activities to Focusing on Results.



Action: Develop a performance measurement system that focuses on results, i.e., the impact of OSHA activities on occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Background: OSHA is in the process of fundamentally redefining the way the agency does business. This requires changing the way the agency measures its performance. In the past OSHA used a limited number of activity measures (primarily enforcement-related, such as number of inspections) to gauge its performance. As a result the agency has been criticized as being driven by numbers that do not relate directly to the goals of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, i.e., to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Description: OSHA is in the process of developing a comprehensive performance measurement system that will shift the focus from tracking activities to monitoring results. The development of this system will take time, and, while some improvements have already been accomplished, OSHA envisions that the complete system will be phased in over the next several years as the needed information becomes available on a systematic basis. The goals of the system are to improve OSHA's capability to: 1) quantify and evaluate the successes and failures of its various programs based on program results, 2) identify the most effective and efficient program mix, and 3) promote iterative development of programs and policies based on outcome data.

Implementation Plan: Significant steps are planned and underway for developing and implementing OSHA's new performance measurement system:

FY 1995--For the first time in the agency's history OSHA is not using the total number of inspections as a primary measure of the agency's performance. The FY 1995 performance measurement system consists of tracking the FY 1995 goals and objectives, implementing a set of indicators that track intermediate outcomes, and testing candidate measures in several pilot projects. In addition, in FY 1995 the agency is exploring options to obtain establishment-specific data on a systematic basis to target its services and measure its impacts. OSHA is a volunteer pilot agency under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and is developing a strategic plan, a performance plan, and a performance report in FY '95. OSHA has already developed a framework for its new measurement system, a set of key definitions, and a list of critical questions to be answered.

FY 1996--OSHA will initiate the collection of site-specific data. OSHA has developed a set of candidate measures for 1996 which will be refined on the basis of OSHA's FY 95 pilots.

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.