OSHA Listens

Public Meeting

OSHA held a public meeting to solicit comments and suggestions from OSHA stakeholders on key issues facing the agency.

Held: March 4, 2010 9:00am - 6:00pm EST


OSHA Listens


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a public meeting to solicit comments and suggestions from stakeholders on key issues facing the agency. In particular, the agency invited input on the following:
  1. What can the agency do to enhance and encourage the efforts of employers, workers and unions to identify and address workplace hazards?
  2. What are the most important emerging or unaddressed health and safety issues in the workplace, and what can OSHA do to address these?
  3. How can the agency improve its efforts to engage stakeholders in programs and initiatives?
  4. What specific actions can the agency take to enhance the voice of workers in the workplace, particularly workers who are hard to reach, do not have ready access to information about hazards or their rights, or are afraid to exercise their rights?
  5. Are there additional measures to improve the effectiveness of the agency's current compliance assistance efforts and the on site consultation program, to ensure that small businesses have the information needed to provide safe workplaces?
  6. Given the length and difficulty of the current OSHA rulemaking process, and given the need for new standards that will protect workers from unaddressed, inadequately addressed and emerging hazards, are there policies and procedures that will decrease the time to issue final standards so that OSHA may implement needed protections in a timely manner?
  7. As we continue to progress through a new information age vastly different from the environment in which OSHA was created, what new mechanisms or tools can the agency use to more effectively reach high risk employees and employers with training, education and outreach? What is OSHA doing now that may no longer be necessary?
  8. Are there indicators, other than worksite injuries and illness logs, that OSHA can use to enhance resource targeting?
  9. In the late 1980s, OSHA and its stakeholders worked together to update the Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) (exposure limits for hazardous substances; most adopted in 1971), but the effort was unsuccessful. Should updating the PELs be a priority for the agency? Are there suggestions for ways to update the PELs, or other ways to control workplace chemical exposures?

Meeting Agenda

9 a.m.		Welcome and Introductory Comments
			David Michaels, Assistant Secretary, OSHA
			Deborah Berkowitz, Chief of Staff, OSHA
9:10-9:50	Panel 1
			Tonya Ford, Uncle killed at ADM facility in 2009
			Katherine Rodriguez, Father killed at British Petroleum in 2004
			Wanda Morillo, Husband killed in a NJ industrial explosion in 2005
			Celeste Monforton, American Public Health Association
			Linda Reinstein, Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
9:50-10:30	Panel 2
			Marc Freedman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
			Keith Smith, National Association of Manufacturers
			Frank White, ORC
			Stephen Sandherr, Association of General Contractors
10:30-10:40	Break
10:40-11:20	Panel 3
			Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO
			Scott Schneider, Laborers' Health and Safety Fund
			Mike Wright, United Steel Workers
11:20-11:50	Panel 4
			Chris Patton, American Society for Safety Engineers
			Katharine Kirkland, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
			Aaron Trippler, American Industrial Hygiene Association
11:50-12:30	Panel 5
			Kathleen McPhaul, American Public Health Association, Univ. of Maryland Nursing
			Hestor Lipscomb, Duke University Medical School
			Rick Neitzel, National Hearing Conservation Association
			Matt Schudtz, Center for Progressive Reform
12:30-1:30	Lunch
1:30-2:00	Panel 6
			Karen Harned, Nat'l Federation of Independent Business, Small Business Legal Center
			Cynthia Hilton, Institute of Makers of Explosives
			Subhash C. Vaidya, Navistar, Inc.
2:00-2:30	Panel 7
			Andrew Youpel, Brandenburg Industrial Service Company
			Robert Matuga, National Association of Home Builders
			Tom Broderick, Construction Safety Council
2:30-3:00 	Panel 8
			Don Villarejo, California Institute for Rural Studies
			Luzdary Giraldo, NY Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
			Roger Cook/Peter Dooley, Western NY Council on Occupational Safety and Health
3:00-3:40	Panel 9
			Rick Engler, NJ Work Environmental Council
			Tom O'Connor, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health
			Norman Pflanz, Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law
			Chris Trahan, Building and Construction Trades Department
3:40-3:50	Break
3:50-4:10	Panel 10
			John Masarick, Independent Electrical Contractors
			Davis Layne, VPPPA
4:10-4:40	Panel 11
			Bruce Lapham, Valcourt Building Services, LC
			Marc Kolanz, Brush Wellman Inc.
4:40-5:10	Panel 12
			Pamela Vossenas, Unite Here! International
			John Morawetz, International Chemical Workers Union Council
			Dinkar Mokadam/Chris Witkowski, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
5:10-5:50	Panel 13
			Rick Inclima, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
			Jason Zuckerman, Employment Law Group
			Richard Renner, National Whistleblowers Center

Meeting Transcripts and Written Comments

Transcripts from the meeting are now available:    for Panels 1-5    for Panels 6-9    for Panels 10-13

The following remarks and comments are also available from the public meeting. The written comment period closes March 30.