OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
OSHA Trade Release
November 24, 2004
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will publish a final rule in Friday's Federal Register that will require federal government agencies to adopt worker safety and health recordkeeping and reporting requirements that are essentially identical to the private sector. The new requirements will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2005.
"These new requirements will improve recordkeeping which will enhance the ability of federal agencies and employees to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Producing more useful data will better enable the agencies to identify patterns of injuries and illnesses and focus on the most effective intervention."
While the regulation will become effective Jan. 1, notices of violations will not be issued during the first year as long as agencies are making a reasonable effort to comply with the requirements. OSHA will launch a comprehensive outreach and compliance assistance effort early in the implementation period to educate and train federal agencies on the new recording requirements.
The new requirements will enhance the capacity of agency safety and health managers to focus the attention of their illness and injury prevention programs on the most significant hazards; identify types or patterns of injuries and illnesses whose investigation will lead to prevention efforts such as improved work practices or technology development; and provide useful priority-setting information for establishment inspections within an agency.
The new recordkeeping requirements will produce an information base that can assist federal agencies and their employees to maintain safe and healthy working conditions. The importance of accurate recordkeeping to lower injury and illness rates is indicated by experience with OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), a program that recognizes federal agencies and private sector employers with exemplary safety and health programs. VPP worksites, which have comprehensive safety and health management programs that include effective injury, illness, and accident recordkeeping, generally have lost workday case rates ranging from one fifth to one-third the rates experienced by most worksites in the same industry.
The new federal agency recordkeeping and reporting requirements are scheduled to be published in the November 26 Federal Register.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. 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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