In past years, the National Park Service (NPS) has experienced the highest
employee injury and illness rates of all Department of Interior (DOI) Bureaus. In recognizing this
problem, the NPS approached OSHA to ask for help to improve their safety and health management
systems (SHMS) at NPS sites with high injury and illness rates. In 2001, the Grand Teton National
Park and OSHA's Region VIII Billings Area Office developed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) to
improve their SHMS and reduce the number of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The Partnership
renewed their OSP agreement in February 2005 and continues to make substantial progress towards
achieving their goals.
Injury and Illness Rates Improve
When the NPS Partnership started in 2001, it faced many challenges – particularly how to best
address their high rates of injuries and illnesses. As shown in the below table, the Partnership's
2001 baseline Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART) rate was 3.9 and their Total Case Incident
Rate (TCIR) was 13.9 – significantly higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national
average for that industry.
|OSP Baseline Rate
|OSP 3-Year Average for Most Recent Years
|BLS Industry National Average for Most Recent Year
Over the past three years, the Partnership experienced a 60% decrease in
recordable cases. Their DART rate was 10% less and their TCIR was 50% less than their baseline rate.
Safety and Health Culture Promoted and Relationships between
One of the key purposes of the Partnership is to improve the Park's SHMS. In 2007, the Partnership
began focusing on increasing employee involvement and creating a safety and health culture. The
first step in doing this was improving communications between all stakeholders, and over the past
year, employees and managers have made great strides in doing this. Top management increased their
effort and willingness to be more available to the employees. In turn, employees have become more
involved and more focused on maintaining safety and health in their day-to-day activities –
resulting in employees becoming more accountable for their actions. Employees feel more comfortable
in reporting safety and health concerns to their supervisors without fear of reprisal.
Other relationships and communications have improved as well. For example, NPS management and
employees are now more open to OSHA assistance and less apprehensive during OSHA visitations and
evaluations. Also, the union's relationship with the OSP management team has also shown improvement
in fostering open lines of communication.
The key objective of the Partnership is to reduce injuries and illnesses by
identifying and correcting the primary causal factors of the top three injuries and illnesses. The
Partnership's overarching goal is to improve employee productivity and quality of life by providing
safe and healthful occupational environments.
Origin: Region VIII, Billings Area Office
Partners: Grand Teton National Park
Partnership Signed: August 2001, renewed February 2005
Industry: General Industry NAICS Code 712190, SIC Code 7999
Source and Date: Region VIII, Billings Area Office / May 2008