Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OSHA Under Obama Administration

At 2009 begins and the new President Barack Obama takes his position as President, many people are wondering how his administration will effect OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The answer is not a simple one. There are many factors including the economy and the pressing other administration issues that may take priority, however, I think one idea is clear.....change may be slow at first, but OSHA will eventually see a new vigour under the administration of President Barack Obama.

Here is an excerpt from an Obama campaign news release
"Improve Resources for Federal Workplace Safety Efforts: As president, Barack Obama will assure that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) — our long-neglected agencies charged with making workplaces healthy and safe — are led by people dedicated to their vital missions and have the staff and resources they need. He understands the necessity of breaking the political impasse between the White House and Congress that has starved those agencies of the resources they need to protect workers. Barack Obama will assure that OSHA and MSHA have state-of-the-art tools and strategies needed to safeguard workers facing a wide range of hazards: from mine tunnel collapses to crane accidents, and from exposures to dangerous chemicals to severe back strains. Obama will assure that those federal agencies—whose enforcement budgets have not changed in real terms in over a decade despite the growth in the number of workers exposed to workplace risks—finally receive the resources they need to improve health and safety conditions."

The clear idea behind this statement is that the previous Republican administration has not focused resources on workplace safety and the new administration has plans to refocus on workplace safety and OSHA.

No matter what changes the new President has in store for OSHA, it is always a good idea for employers to protect worker health. Employers that place an emphasis on worker safety consistently lower their cost of doing business through lower incidence of lost productivity and lower workers compensation insurance rates. Safety truly does pay....and in more than one way.

An effective safety program always begins with management and includes:
  • a thorough workplace hazard analysis
  • effective hazard elimination and hazard controls
  • effective employee safety training
  • continued analysis of the safety program

For more information about OSHA please visit this link for Free OSHA Information.

If you have any comments or questions about the new Presidential Administration or OSHA, please feel free to comment on this blog.

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