OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
January 25, 1996
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS NATIONAL OFFICE DIRECTORS DESIGN TEAM FROM: JOSEPH A. DEAR Assistant Secretary SUBJECT: Core Elements for Maine 200-type Programs
Thank you for your comments and suggestions to the September 16 memorandum transmitting draft core elements for development of Maine 200-type programs. You will note by the extensive changes made to the initial document that those comments were fully considered. We also have considered and included comments from stakeholders. The guidance below constitutes minimum elements which must be present in any program submitted to the national office for approval as a Maine 200-type program.
1. Data Driven. Data, site specific to the extent possible, is used to develop a state-wide program incorporating a wide range of industries. Data from workers compensation claims, OSHA 200s, biological monitoring, and other sources is used to identify high hazard workplaces, significant hazards, and major sources of workplace injuries and illnesses; design interventions, establish the threshold for entry and the performance improvement necessary to exit the program.
2. Partnership. Maine 200 type programs are enforcement based, but provide a choice for employers which permit a partnership approach intended to achieve cooperative abatement of hazards through establishment of comprehensive safety and health programs. The partnership confers obligations on participating employers and OSHA. OSHA offers qualifying employers:
- limited scope of inspections - lower priority of inspection - higher priority for technical assistance - cooperative agreements Employers have a responsibility to: - develop (or improve an existing) comprehensive safety and health program - conduct workplace audit(s) to identify workplace hazards and potential violations - abate identified hazards and violations - track and report on hazard abatement efforts
3. Enforcement. Each program includes an enforcement component in which some employers are not initially provided the option of partnership. In addition, OSHA does not relinquish the right to exercise its enforcement authority if employers decline to participate in the program, or fail to carry out their obligation to correct serious hazards.
It should also be the intention of each program to attempt to identify those employers which should be OSHA's highest priority for inspection. Among the factors to be considered when identifying such employers from the date driven program list include:
- a history of failing to correct serious hazards previously identified in an OSHA inspection(s); - an abnormally high rate of lost time injuries or illnesses; - those employers whose workers' compensation numbers or rates are at the top of the selection list; - willful and/or egregious violation(s) or an employee fatality during the previous twelve months.
Employers identified using the above or other relevant factors will be scheduled for inspection. Programs should set forth plans on how OSHA will enforce standards when violations are found during inspections and monitoring visits.
4. Effective Safety and Health Programs. The fundamental employer commitment is to develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health program. The essential elements which comprise an effective, comprehensive program are: Management Commitment and Employee Participation; Workplace Analysis; Hazard Prevention and Control; Safety and Health Training; and Verification of Abatement. The Safety and Health Program is not limited to compliance with OSHA standards; it must address all sources of serious injuries and illnesses at the workplace. Management clearly demonstrates - by involvement, support and example - the primary importance of safety and health for everyone on the worksite.
Employees and their representatives must be afforded the opportunity to participate in all phases of this program from the outset and for its duration. Participation includes but is not limited to: assisting in the initial safety and health program review (if such program exists); hazard identification; abatement of hazards; formation/ revision of comprehensive safety and health programs; employee training; attendance at all related meetings; and access to documents pertinent to this program. The program should further ensure that companies abide by Section 11(c) of the Act, in that they do not discriminate or take reprisal actions against employees who participate in any aspect of the program or report illnesses or injuries.
Authorized employee representatives are to receive a copy of all correspondence with employers. Initial correspondence with employers should include a copy of employee rights under the Act, verifying adequate employee participation.
The program should also make clear that only those employers with a comprehensive safety and health program are eligible for good faith penalty adjustments or focused inspections.
Employers who do not live up to their partnership commitment are to receive no penalty adjustments (excepting size of establishment) or any other partnership benefits.
5. Leverage. The program will:
- cover a larger number of employers and workplaces in a wide range of industries throughout the state - be more comprehensive, covering a wider range of hazards beyond OSHA standards thereby having a greater impact on the reduction of injuries and illnesses - use all of OSHA's tools, allowing for the potential involvement/leveraging of OSHA stakeholders in the technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation, training and other aspects of the program, resulting in more effective and efficient use of OSHA's limited resources.
6. Measurable Impact. Program design includes a description of how it will get to the bottom line in terms of measurable reduction of illness, injury and death in the affected workplace. Programs will be measured using four categories of common evaluation criteria:
1. Activities - measured in terms of resource expenditures in order to provide some resource accounting/estimates that can be used later to determine program efficiency
2. Intermediate Outcomes - to provide information about the short term results of program activities
3. Primary Outcomes - to provide information about bottom line results of the program in reducing employee exposure to workplace hazards and occupational injury, illness and death
4. Leveraging - to determine the type and extent of internal agency efficiencies realized and the variety and breadth of resources expended by OSHA stakeholders and/or interested third parties
Attached please find definitive evaluation criteria and a format for semi-annual programs reporting. Due to characteristics unique to individual program, development of additional criteria may be necessary at the regional/local level to fully evaluate the program.
7. Outreach. It is imperative that all directives include a requirement for consulting with labor, management and other interested parties during the development of individual programs.
You will likely wish to share the core elements with your Regional Solicitor for their information. Each proposed program is to be submitted to Dave Morgan, Room N3476, FPB, who will coordinate the approval process. You may disregard the section on "Approval Criteria" which accompanied the September 16 memorandum. Simply indicate in your plan submittal or in a separate document how your program meets the core elements above. If you do not have an answer to your request for approval within ten working days, you may consider your plan approved, and proceed with implementation.
While in the program development stage, I suggest that you coordinate your intentions on how pertinent data is to be collected and used with Steve Newell in the Office of Statistics. In addition, please contact the 7(c)(1) consultation program staff in each appropriate state during the development process. Not only will this provide you with a potential leverage tool, but consultation program staff may be able to help you more readily obtain workers' compensation or other data through their contacts in the state.
The Forest Group is charged with reviewing the remaining issues raised during the September 14 Team Meeting. You should be hearing from that Group in the near future.
If you have questions on this memorandum, please call Dave Morgan on (202) 219-8816.
SEMI-ANNUAL EVALUATION/ACTIVITY REPORT FOR EXPERIMENTAL TARGETING PROGRAMS BASED ON THE MAINE TOP 200 PROGRAM Program Name:___________________________________ Report date:__________ Program Implementation Date __________ _______________________________________________________________________ | COMMON EVALUATION CRITERIA | STATUS OF INDIVIDUAL (Grouped into four major | EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM categories) | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | ACTIVITIES | RESOURCE EXPENDITURES Must be measured in order to | (Employee time and money) provide some resources | accounting/estimates that can be | used later to determine program | efficiency | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Program design, to include | directive development | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Program management | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Data analysis | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Initial mail out, including | development and assembly of | packages | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Outreach, training, information | and technical assistance | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Off-site monitoring | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | On-site monitoring | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Enforcement actions | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Program tracking and evaluation | ___________________________________|___________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ | INTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES | These provide information about | the short-term results of program | activities. These outcomes are to| be tracked on a continuing basis | in order to provice answers to | questions requiring a quick | response, e.g. "what is the status| of the program" | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number and ratio of selected | companies expressing willingness | to participate | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number of comprehensive safety and| health programs implemented | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Evidence of employee involvement | at all stages of program | development and implementation, to| include any employee opinion | reports | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number of referrals, fat/cat | reports, and employee compliants | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number of results of enforcement | inspections | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number of results of monitoring | visits | ___________________________________|___________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ | PRIMARY OUTCOMES | Provide infomation about bottom | line results of the program in | reducing occupational injury, | illness and death, and will not | likely become apparent until at | least one year after program | implementation | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Changes in injury and illness | rates from OSHA 200 logs, workers | compensation reports for | individual establishments and for | the target group, or other data | used for program selection | ___________________________________|____________________________________ | Changes in employers' direct and | indirect costs as a result of | occupational injury and illness | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Changes in statewide fatality | rates for appropriate industries | ___________________________________|____________________________________ | Ensuring that contractor and | temporary employees are covered by| employer and safety and health | plan (determined by records review| and comparison of injury rates) | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number and types of safety hazards| found and fixed (i.e., by | category; covered or not covered | by standards) | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number and types of health hazards| found and fixed, including changes| in exposure levels and number of | employees affected | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Changes in statewide | injury/illness rates for | appropriate industries | ___________________________________|___________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ | LEVERAGING | Information collected on this These indicators are used to | subject will likely be anecdotal determine the type and extent of | rather than statistical in nature. internal agency efficiencies | Creativity in both recruiting realized though Maine 200-type | stakeholders and interested third targeting programs, and the | parties for such services is variety and breadth of resources | encouraged. The same qualities expended by OSHA stakeholders | will likely be necessary for and/or interested third parties | reporting on the results. Below (in lieu of agency resources) to | are examples of the types of assist in program operations such | issues/criteria on which you will as technical assistance, training,| wish to report. and the like | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number of worksites covered by | selected employers (including any | evidence of commitment by that | employer to expand the safety and | health program to facilities | outside the state) | ___________________________________|__________________________________ | Distribution of employers by | industry (to include evidence of | any selected employer(s) | participation in the program | causing competitors to develop | safety and health programs to | remain competitive) | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | Number and ratio of employees | covered by the program, as | compared to the likely number | covered through use of the same | number of resources for programmed| enforcement inspections | ___________________________________|___________________________________ The above evaluation criteria are to be included in each semi-annual report. Depending on the characteristics of individual programs, other criteria may be important to the evaluation process. Offices will also wish to keep track of success stories, media contacts/articles, problems, events relating to the program, and the like for the "instant updates" periodically (and predictably) requested.