Job safety and health guidelines based on successful industry experience have been issued by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"The guidelines represent a cooperative effort between OSHA and industry," said Assistant Secretary of Labor John Pendergrass, who heads OSHA. "We have noticed a strong correlation between sound safety management practices and reduced accident rate. The guidelines, which are voluntary, are a distillation of the best of these practices," he said.Pendergrass said OSHA has increased its emphasis on management practices in several of the agency's programs. The agency's safety standards, including the hazard communication standard, specifically require management programs.
The agency also approved worksites with exemplary safety and health management programs for participation in its voluntary protection programs. Worksites proposed for VPP undergo careful screening before they are selected and generally have lost-workday case rates from one-fifth to one-third the rates of average worksites.
Major elements of the guidelines stress management commitment and employee involvement, analyzing worksites to identify potential hazards, preventing and controlling hazards, and safety and health training.