OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
February 4, 2004
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued its National Emergency Management Plan (NEMP), a new directive that clarifies the agency's policies during responses to national emergencies. The NEMP outlines procedures to ensure that personnel and logistical and operational assistance are in place to provide technical assistance and guidance within the emergency response structure for responder and recovery workers health and safety.
"OSHA is committed to helping assure the health and safety of workers including those involved in emergencies," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "This plan ensures that OSHA is prepared to provide the necessary technical support and assistance during a national emergency, whether it originates from a natural or manmade disaster."
"The safety and health of emergency response and recovery workers is a critical element of our nation's domestic preparedness and emergency response efforts," said Bob Stephan, Special Assistant to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "We applaud OSHA's hard work on their National Emergency Management Plan and the agency's efforts to complement the Department of Homeland Security's leadership to improve national security."
The NEMP details OSHA's roles and responsibilities during responses to nationally significant incidents, such as those that result in a Presidential Emergency Declaration, the activation of the Federal Response Plan, or a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security. It also includes the primary roles and functions that the Agency's national and regional offices will assume while planning for and responding to a nationally significant incident. Each region is required to develop a Regional Emergency Management Plan (REMP) and coordinate with State plan States and Consultation Projects to ensure that roles and responsibilities for OSHA's Federal, State, and local assets in the Region are coordinated and complementary.
The adoption of the plan ensures OSHA's ability to support the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System being developed by the Department of Homeland Security.
The new directive establishes an Emergency Preparedness Executive Steering Committee and Specialized Response Teams (Toxic Chemicals, Biological Agents, Ionizing Radiation, and Structural Collapse) will be created by the Agency to enhance OSHA's response capabilities for incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The teams will be comprised of OSHA personnel from the Health Response Team (HRT) and by other national, regional, and area office personnel with subject matter expertise.
OSHA's NEMP describes a federal program change and state plan adoption is not required. However, state plans must coordinate with their regional administrator to assure that appropriate procedures are in place. States can develop their own internal response plan and implementation procedures, and should share these documents with their regional administrator.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7773 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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