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June 21, 2017

ASSE Releases OSHA Reform Blueprint

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The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has created an “OSHA Reform Blueprint” that details priorities and vision for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in these times of political change. The eight-page proposal calls for reforms to emphasize risk management, focus on productive policies and fill legislative and regulatory gaps that limit OSHA’s ability to better protect workers.

"The current regulatory approach toward safety and health in the workplace needs improvement. ASSE has developed a blueprint of data-driven and experienced-tested recommendations, vetted by safety professionals across many industries and occupational perspectives," the blueprint reads.

"To begin we recommend a much-needed shift in approach from solely managing compliance to also reducing risk, bringing American OSH practices in line with global trends. We then
offer four recommendations to leverage OSHA’s limited resources for maximum impact, followed by two areas in which OSHA coverage must be expanded. We also suggest two ways to strengthen OSHA-NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) collaboration and we close with three ways OSHA could clarify its focus," says ASSE.

Key points of the ASSE proposal for OSHA are:

Adopt a risk-based approach:
  • Moving from a compliance model to an integrated risk-based approach
  • Require all employers to implement a safety and health program

Leverage Existing Resources to:
  • Focus efforts on finding solutions to the primary causes of workplace fatalities
  • Take advantage of existing initiatives and expertise in the OSH sector
  • Expand third-party auditing
  • Expand options for employers in settlement agreements
  • Embrace expanded use of consensus standards and negotiated rulemaking

Address Coverage Gaps to:
  • Provide coverage for all public workers
  • Reduce chemical and physical exposures through occupational hazard banding

Improve Collaboration:
  • Increase Collaboration between OSHA and NIOSH
  • Intensify Total Worker Health efforts

Clarify OSHA Roles:
  • Rescind the 2016 electronic recordkeeping rule
  • Do more to recognize companies with exemplary OSH practice
  • Cease activity beyond the scope of occupational health and safety

Resources:

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