OHSA recently held a Q & A session to gather ideas about the Dept. of Labor's strategic direction over the next six years. According to a plan overview, "OSHA is focusing on actively promoting safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by: setting and enforcing workplace safety and health standards; delivering effective enforcement; providing outreach, education and compliance assistance; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health."
Strategies to achieve these goals include:
- Strengthen enforcement capabilities - target the most egregious and persistent violators
- Strengthen regulatory capabilities
- Increase OSHA's presence in the workplace
- Protect workers in high-hazard occupations and vulnerable and hard-to-reach worker populations
- Review and restructure penalties to ensure they are consistent with the seriousness of the violation and act as effective deterrence to violators
- Maintain a strong outreach and education program
- Enhance and strengthen compliance assistance program for small businesses
- Reduced fatalities associated with the four leading causes of workplace death: falls, electrocutions, caught in or between, and struck by
- Increased number of targeted hazards abated. Targeted injuries and illnesses include:
- Hearing loss in manufacturing, illnesses in general industry and construction, and workplace amputations
- Increased worker and employer awareness of OSHA rights, responsibilities and programs to improve "voice in the workplace."
You can review a draft of the plan here.