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• Publication Date: 05/29/2012
• Publication Type: Meeting
• Fed Register #: 77: 31647-31649
• Title: Establishing Indicators to Determine Whether State Plan Operations are At Least as Effective as Federal OSHA: Stakeholder Meeting

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 103 (Tuesday, May 29, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31647-31649] 
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12913] 


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Establishing Indicators to Determine Whether State Plan
Operations are At Least as Effective as Federal OSHA: Stakeholder
Meeting

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
invites interested parties to participate in an informal stakeholder
meeting on establishing definitions and measures to determine whether
OSHA-approved State Plans for occupational safety and health (State
Plans) are at least as effective as the Federal OSHA program as
required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The purpose
of this meeting is to provide a forum to gather information and ideas
on key outcome and activity based indicators and how OSHA can use such
indicators to assess the effectiveness of State Plans.

DATES: The date for the stakeholder meeting is June 25, 2012, from 10
a.m. to 1 p.m. eastern standard time, in Washington, DC. The deadline
for registration to attend or participate in the meeting and to submit
written comments is June 11, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the Francis Perkins Building,
U.S. Department of Labor, Room N3437, at 200 Constitution Ave. NW.,
Washington, DC 20210. The nearest Metro station is Judiciary Square
(Red Line). Photo ID is required to enter the building.
    Registration to attend or participate in the meeting: To
participate in the June 25, 2012 stakeholder meeting, provide written
comments or be a nonparticipating observer, you must register
electronically, by phone, or by facsimile by close of business on June
11, 2012. Those interested may register with Angela DeCanio by email
at: DeCanio.Angela@dol.gov, by phone at: (202) 693-2239, or by fax at:
(202) 693-1671. Registrants should label their requests as:
"Stakeholder Meeting: Monitoring of OSHA-Approved State Plans." When
registering please indicate the following: (1) Name, address, phone,
fax, and email address; (2) Organization for which you work; and, (3)
Organization you will represent (if different).
    The meeting will last 3 hours, and be limited to approximately 20
participants. OSHA will do its best to accommodate all persons who wish
to participate. OSHA encourages persons and groups having similar
interests to consolidate their information and participate through a
single representative. Members of the general public may observe, but
not participate in, the meetings as space permits. OSHA staff will be
present to take part in the discussions.
    OSHA staff will manage registration of participants and observers
and logistics for the meeting. A transcription of the meeting will be
available for review at www.osha.gov. OSHA will confirm participants to
ensure a fair representation of interests and a wide range of
viewpoints. Nonparticipating observers who do not register for the
meeting will be accommodated as space permits. Electronic copies of
this Federal Register notice, as well as news releases and other
relevant documents, are available on the OSHA Web page at:
www.osha.gov. Registrants wanting to submit written comments must do so
by June 11, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general and press inquiries
contact: Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of Communications, U.S.
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210;
telephone: (202) 693-1725; email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov. For
technical information contact: Doug Kalinowski, Director, OSHA
Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Room N-3700, U.S.
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210;
telephone: (202) 693-2200; email: kalinowski.doug@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 ("the Act")
created OSHA "to assure so far as possible every working man and woman
in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions * * *." The Act
also encourages states to develop and operate their own workplace
safety and health plans. Once OSHA approves a State Plan under Section
18(b) of the Act, OSHA may fund up to 50 percent of the state program's
operating costs. Absent an approved State Plan, states are preempted
from enforcing occupational safety and health standards. As a condition
of OSHA approval, State Plans must provide standards and enforcement
programs that are "at least as effective as" the federal OSHA
program, in addition to voluntary compliance activities, and cover
public sector employees. OSHA is responsible for the approval and
monitoring of State Plans.
    Currently there are 27 OSHA-approved state occupational safety and
health plans. Twenty-two states and territories operate comprehensive
State Plans covering the private sector and state and local government
employers and employees. Five states and territories operate State
Plans which cover only public sector employees. Additional information
about state programs may be found at: http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html.
    The Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA),
the organization of officials from each of the OSHA-approved state
plans, serves as the link from the states to federal agencies that have
occupational safety and health jurisdiction and to Congress. The group
holds three meetings a year with federal OSHA, giving State Plans the
opportunity to address common issues and share information. OSHSPA
representatives have appeared before congressional committees and other
bodies to report on job safety and health issues.
    Following congressional hearings over the past several years
concerning state plan effectiveness, and an audit by the Department of
Labor's Office of the Inspector General in March 2011, OSHA increased
the level of onsite monitoring of state plans and committed to further
strengthening communication between federal OSHA and the State Plans.
On October 29, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab testified
before the House Committee on Education and Labor about the Special
Study that OSHA conducted of the Nevada State Plan and OSHA's plans for
increasing oversight and conducting a baseline special evaluation in
all other State Plans.
    In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970,
OSHA conducts an evaluation of the 27 approved State Plan States each
fiscal year. Before FY 2009, the Federal Annual Monitoring and
Evaluation (FAME) reports primarily assessed the State Plans' progress
toward achieving the performance goals established by their strategic
and annual performance plans as well as certain mandated activity
measures tied to the federal OSHA program or requirements of the Act.
OSHA and the State Plans have outcome based measures that are part of
their strategic plans, including reducing fatalities and injuries/
illnesses. Additional information can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/sec/stratplan/StrategicPlan.pdf*
and http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/efame/index.html.
    In FY 2009 the FAME reports were enhanced to include baseline
special evaluations for each State Plan. The Enhanced FAME reports
assessed the State Plans' progress toward achieving the performance
goals established by their FY 2009 Annual Performance Plans and
reviewed the effectiveness of programmatic areas related to enforcement
activities through onsite audits and case file reviews. Each State Plan
formally responded to the Enhanced FAME report and, as appropriate,
developed a Corrective Action Plan that was approved by OSHA. The 2009
interim monitoring guidance, intended to assist OSHA regions in
monitoring state plans and preparing the FAME reports, focused on
enforcement activities and the Corrective Action Plans in addition to
performance goal. It was revised for the FY 2010 and FY 2011
evaluations in response to concerns and issues raised both within OSHA
and from State Plans.
    In response to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report
entitled "OSHA Has Not Determined If State OSH Programs Are At Least
As Effective in Improving Workplace Safety and Health as Federal OSHA's
Programs" (http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2011/02-11-201-10-105.pdf*),
OSHA is working with OSHSPA to examine the monitoring system
and address the OIG's recommendation to OSHA "to define effectiveness,
design measures to quantify impact, establish a baseline for State Plan
evaluations, and revise monitoring to include an assessment of
effectiveness." The goal of the stakeholder meeting announced in this
notice is to solicit ideas about how to define and measure
effectiveness and to develop a revised monitoring system (in place of
the interim guidance) to ensure consistency and effectiveness across
the State Plans.

II. Stakeholder Meeting

    The stakeholder meeting announced in this notice will be conducted
in a manner that encourages participants to express individual views
about how to determine whether OSHA-approved State Plans are as
effective as the Federal OSHA program. Formal presentations by
stakeholders are discouraged. The stakeholder meeting discussions will
center on key indicators of effectiveness for Federal OSHA and OSHA-
approved State Plans. The specific issues to be discussed will include
the following:
    1. OSHA's mission is "to assure safe and healthful working
conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards
and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance."
    (a) How would you define or describe the components that constitute
an OSHA-approved State Plan that was "effective" in achieving this
mission (e.g., funding, staffing, standards setting, strong enforcement
program, strong consultation program, frequency of inspection, strong
training and outreach programs, level of penalties etc.)?
    (b) What outcome based measures would you use to determine whether
OSHA-approved State Plans were achieving this mission (e.g., reductions
in injury and illness rates, reductions in fatality rates, etc.)?
    (c) What activity based measures would you use to determine whether
OSHA-approved State Plans were achieving this mission (e.g., number of
inspections conducted, number of violations issued, etc.)?
    2. Should there be a core set of effectiveness measures that both
OSHA and State Plan programs must meet?
    3. What activity and outcome based measures would you use to assess
effectiveness as it relates to the reduction of health hazards?
    4. What activity and outcome based measures would you use to assess
the effectiveness of the whistleblower program under Section 11(c) of
the Act?
    5. What indicators would you use to determine and monitor whether
OSHA-approved State Plans are "at least as effective" as federal OSHA
as outlined in Section 18(b) of the Act?
    Representatives from the State Plans and OSHA have been working to
develop a number of draft measures. OSHA will make these draft measures
available on its Web site no less than two weeks before the stakeholder meeting.

Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of David Michaels,
Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and
Health.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 23, 2012.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2012-12913 Filed 5-25-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P

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* Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Standards and 
Guidance at (202) 693-1713 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

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