December 18, 1998

U.S. Department of Labor (S-2315)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Attn: Mr. Charles Jeffress, Assistant Secretary of Secretary of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAM RULE

Assistant Secretary Jeffress:

The purpose of this letter is to submit comments from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) to address the proposed Safety and Health Program Rule.

INTRODUCTION
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), is the oldest and largest Society of Safety Professionals in the world. Founded in 1911, ASSE currently represents over 32,000 dedicated safety professionals. Included in this membership are Certified Safety Professionals, Professional Engineers, ergonomists, academicians, fire protection engineers, system safety experts, industrial hygienists, physicians, occupational nurses, and an impressive collection of other disciplines, skills, and backgrounds. We pride ourselves on our dedication to excellence, expertise, and commitment to the protection of people, property, and environment on a world-wide basis, (Attachment 1).

SOCIETY INSIGHTS ON THE PROPOSED RULE
ASSE positions are based on consensus and do not reflect complete member unanimity. ASSE members are involved in the development and implementation of standards, methods, procedures, systems, and devices for the purpose of reducing, controlling, or eliminating hazardous exposures. Our interests are solely those of professional practitioners whose charge is to protect our nation's resources.

A major element of the Society's mission is to support sound actions which enable the development of effective safety and health standards designed to facilitate the identification and control of hazardous conditions and practices. From such standards, hazard control methods, procedures, and programs are initiated to promote positive and pro-active approaches to safety and health. An integral element of these techniques is mandatory quality training and educational requirements which communicate the necessary hazard recognition, control, and avoidance information. This methodology, when properly implemented, has the potential to effectively reduce our nation's workplace injury and illness toll.

The above complete, systematic approach to workplace safety and health can be found in most sections of the currently proposed rule. Upon closer analysis, however, there are issues in the rule which if properly set forth have the potential for meeting almost all of the stated purposes of this proposal. After review by the ASSE Executive Committee, Council on Practices and Standards, Council on Professional Affairs, Governmental Affairs Committee, Standards Development Committee, Management Division, Consultants Division, and the Environmental Division the following is offered:

For the reasons cited above, the American Society of Safety Engineers has taken the position of supporting the intent of the proposed OSHA Comprehensive Safety and Health Program Rule. We have reviewed the draft rule and offer the following constructive observations and recommendations. Effective and efficient safety and health programs are an important ingredient in a well-managed business program and ultimately provide substantial economic benefits to the organizations which successfully create, implement, and maintain them. It must be clearly understood, however, that there is no "one size fits all" program. To be effective and efficient the safety and health program must be individually tailored to each business and its own specific safety and health priorities.

Experience illustrates that companies with a safety and health program that has been integrated into their business operation are successful in containing and reducing workers' compensation claims along with their other related indirect expenses. ASSE supports the development of a stand alone safety and health program management rule. This rule should be performance oriented. It should be applicable to all employers and describe the basic tenets and best practices necessary for successfully developing and managing a program. The rule needs to be supported by a cohesive outreach effort melding the resources of OSHA, associations, professional societies, academia and business. Such a program could be supported by other positive reinforcement actions such as penalty reductions for good faith efforts by employers, or granting tax credits for the creation/maintenance of an acceptable program.

There are still a significant number of organizations in the United States which do not have safety and health programs, thus, the creation of a rule will place a renewed national focus on the importance of occupational safety and health in this country. The Society maintains that compliance with legislation and regulation is only one facet of an effective and efficient safety and health management program. The other issue is that the complexity of creating and maintaining efficient/effective safety and health management programs is outside the area of expertise for many organizations. In order to meet the expected need of consultation services, OSHA should consider reviewing a system for voluntary third party audit and evaluations, and work with the accredited private sector professional certification bodies, both public and private recognized registries, and membership organizations to ensure that consultants have an acceptable level of competence.

While ASSE supports the creation of an OSHA Safety and Health Program Rule, it has concern that the proposal may be published as a regulation and not a standard. The issue is that publishing the rule as a regulation instead of a standard may not provide the opportunity for debate and other insights in a public setting.

To ensure that the rule is based on good public policy there needs to be a grandfathering of existing and effective programs and ensuring that the ASSE recommended core elements of efficient and effective safety and health management are included, (Attachment #2). In addition, since the proposed rule is performance based, it is crucial that OSHA Compliance Officers be thoroughly trained in evaluating programs as a safety professional and not from the perspective of a compliance officer. ASSE maintains that this rule provides OSHA with an unprecedented opportunity to provide significant professional development opportunities for its staff.

Format of the Standard
ASSE members, who reviewed the proposed rule, commented that it was not difficult to follow and used terminology recognizable to most safety professionals. We also recognize that significant portions of the proposed rule are consistent with the ASSE statement titled: Position Statement on OSHA Comprehensive Safety and Health Management Programs.

Anecdotal History of Similar Initiatives
The state of California addressed safety and health management programs seven years ago. We acknowledge suggestions that it has not significantly impacted injuries, illnesses, or fatalities. However, our experience with this law indicates most California employers have found a way to implement these regulations to enhance worker safety and health while increasing profitability, productivity, and financial stability. In our opinion, the reason why these regulations have proved to be effective is their focus is on the systematic recognition and control of workplace hazards. Some ASSE members have expressed concern that the proposed OSHA regulation seems to go beyond this focus and is attempting to prescribe how employers shall 'manage' their safety and health program.

Possible Impact of the Proposed Rule
The Society has significant experience with safety and health management programs. Since 1911, our members have been researching, creating, implementing, and advocating sound safety and health management practices. In fact, we maintain that most of the safety management concepts incorporated into the draft regulation are based on the cumulative efforts of our members over the last eighty-five years (85) years. Due to this background we believe ASSE is in a unique position to offer some observations as to how the rule will be viewed in the private sector. Accordingly, we offer the following:

  • Most large employers already have existing safety and health programs which should hopefully exceed the requirements of the proposed rule. ASSE maintains the impact on these firms will probably be negligible. There are some exceptions, but our hope is that the proposed rule will encourage all large employers to focus on the importance of occupational safety and health management programs.
  • Many ASSE members commented that the biggest area for significant gain in reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities through the proposed rule is with mid-sized employers. The Society has observed some firms (e.g.: metal fabricating business with 200 employees), not having any safety and health program. This rule may provide the motivation for employers to invest in such programs in order to protect both the welfare of their employees, safeguard the financial stability of the organization, and be in compliance with the law.
  • Some small employers might see the proposed regulation as being an unwarranted financial burden on their operations. While ASSE maintains that all employers should comply with occupational safety and health laws regardless of size, the Agency needs to work with the applicable small business organizations to establish a consensus on appropriate compliance dates. This increased time extension will give small employers and associations/societies representing small business interests more involvement in the process and provide them with adequate time to prepare for implementation of the rule.
Possible Drivers for More Support of the Proposed Rule
During our review of the proposed rule, some evaluators suggested that it is an excellent opportunity for OSHA to work with other federal agencies to build more support of safety and health programs for the federal government as a whole. These are some of the suggestions:
  • OSHA should compile data relating specifically to the additional cost to employers to create, implement, and maintain safety and health management programs which comply with the rule. The data should then be used to negotiate tax credits with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This approach could be of significant benefit to small employers, and get more buy-in from associations/societies representing business interests. Perhaps we now have a unique opportunity to use the tax code as a driver for effective safety and health management programs.
  • Could there be a mechanism established which would allow lower fines for employers who have made a good faith effort to comply with the regulation. ASSE is specifically asking if there could be a way to tie this proposal to Vice President Gore's taskforce report on reinventing government?
Applicable State Legislation and Regulation
ASSE members pointed out that a significant number of states already have worker compensation regulations and/or other state legislation and regulation providing for the establishment of safety and health programs. The Society recommends that OSHA review these other programs to see if they meet the intent of the proposed "grandfathering language" cited in (b)(3). One specific example is the guideline promulgated by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Our concern is if state existing laws could cause duplicative and confusing requirements.

Standards Versus Regulations
The Society is concerned that this proposal is being promulgated as a regulation instead of a standard. Several ASSE members have expressed concern with this approach for the following reasons:

  1. Since 1995, the document has been titled: OSHA Proposed Safety and Health Management Standard. Is it appropriate after almost four (4) years of communication to change nomenclature if it results in changes to the process?
  2. If the rule is published as a regulation the standards development requirements cited in Section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act are bypassed. Publishing the rule as a regulation instead of a standard may not provide the opportunity for debate in a public setting. This could result in generating more litigation than expected, thus, the rule could be significantly delayed. If we are correct in this view OSHA needs to provide a rationale in its preface/preamble to the rule.
Please note that the attached pages cite the federal draft requirement and then underneath it list ASSE observations, comments, ideas, concerns, and suggestions. We hope this comment package will be of assistance to OSHA. We thank you for your attention to this matter, and if we can be of assistance please feel free to contact the Society.

Sincerely Yours,
Fred F. Fleming, CSP, OHST
Society President 1998-1999

Copy To:   ASSE Board of Directors
                    ASSE Council on Professional Affairs
                    ASSE Governmental Affairs Committee
                    ASSE Contact List

FF/TRF/CORRS1067
encl.


DRAFT PROPOSED SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAM RULE
29 CFR 1900.1
Docket No. S&H-0027

What is the purpose of this rule? The purpose of this rule is to reduce the number of job-related fatalities, illnesses, and injuries. The rule will accomplish this by requiring employers to establish a workplace safety and health program to ensure compliance with OSHA standards and the General Duty Clause of the Act (Section 5(a)(1)).

This regulation is the most "performance based" rule we have seen the Agency publish. The key to success will be ongoing training of compliance officers to ensure that there is a consistent method to evaluate and measure safety anf health management programs. Some ASSE members commented the proposed language would enable OSHA to issue citations which are duplicative of each other, (e.g.: cite an employer for a violation of 29 CFR 1900.1, the General Duty Clause, and a specific standard). The Society requests clarification from OSHA on this issue.

(a) Scope.
(a)(1) Who is covered by this rule?
All employers covered by the Act, except employers engaged in construction and agriculture, are covered by this rule.

ASSE Comment: The Society is aware that there will be a separate regulation for the construction industry, and there are areas of the construction industry which are unique. However, the key principles of effective and efficient safety and health management are transferable to any industry including agriculture. Our suggestion is that the proposed rule for construction when/if released needs to encompass the key principles cited in this regulation. The Society is also requesting clarification as to why agriculture is not covered in the proposed rule. Perhaps the traditional family farm should not be covered, however, we are puzzled as to why large scale agricultural corporations would not be included, but small employers with less than ten (10) employees would be. This approach does not appear to be consistent with the objectives of the rule.

(a)(2) To what hazards does this rule apply? This rule applies to hazards covered by the General Duty Clause and by OSHA standards.

ASSE Comment: ASSE agrees this rule should cover all existing standards and regulations. ASSE was asked by its members if this rule establishes the groundwork to stop the development of future standards and regulations since the General Duty Clause could in theory cover any new or future hazards. This concerns ASSE as the Society believes there will be a need to publish future standards to provide guidance on evolving safety and health issues. The Society maintains that it needs to be explicitly recognized that this rule does not mean that there will not be future standards and regulations.

(b) Basic obligation.
(b)(1) What are the employer's basic obligations under the rule?
Each employer must set up a safety and health program to manage workplace safety and health to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities by systematically achieving compliance with OSHA standards and the General Duty Clause. The program must be appropriate to conditions in the workplace, such as the hazards to which employees are exposed and the number of employees there.

(b)(2) What core elements must the program have?The program must have the following core elements:
(i) Management leadership and employee participation;
(ii) Hazard identification and assessment;
(iii) Hazard prevention and control;
(iv) Information and training; and
(v) Evaluation of program effectiveness.

(b)(3) Does the rule have a grandfather clause? Yes. Employers who have implemented a safety and health program before the effective date of this rule may continue to implement that program if:
(i) The program satisfies the basic obligation for each core element; and
(ii) The employer can demonstrate the effectiveness of any provision of the employer's program that differs from the other requirements included under the core elements of this rule.

ASSE Comment: ASSE takes the position that grandfathering of programs is sound public policy. The Society attended a series of stakeholder meetings, and the issue of existing programs was brought up in every one of them. Recognizing the importance of existing programs will go a long way in obtaining acceptance of the rule by safety and health professionals and other impacted constituencies. A significant number of ASSE members suggested that the proposed regulation is basically "a barebones program", and that many programs exceed the core elements. The key once again is to ensure that OSHA Compliance Officers have a consistent way of measuring the effectiveness of existing programs. Otherwise, the final result will be inconsistent enforcement.

(c) Management leadership and employee participation.
(c)(1) Management leadership.
(c)(1)(i) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer must demonstrate management leadership of the safety and health program.
(c)(1)(ii) What must an employer do to demonstrate management leadership of the program? An employer must:
(A) Establish the program responsibilities of managers, supervisors, and employees for safety and health in the workplace and hold them accountable for carrying out those responsibilities;
(B) Provide managers, supervisors, and employees with the authority, access to relevant information, training, and resources they need to carry out their safety and health responsibilities; and
(C) Identify at least one manager, supervisor, or employee to receive and respond to reports about workplace safety and health conditions and, where appropriate, to initiate corrective action.

ASSE Comment: The Society appreciates the apparent intent of this proposal which is to promote a team approach to safety and health management programs and establish some documented levels of responsibility. However, we have concern with points [A]and [C] which identifies one individual to be responsible for the establishment of programs and the initiation of corrective action. In many cases, this employee will be the staff safety professional. The primary mission of the safety professional is to provide information to management which is backed by good science and sound technology. The concern of ASSE is that during implementation and interpretation of the regulation, there is the possibility that OSHA could hold safety professionals responsible for workplace safety and health issues beyond their control. We ask for clarification on the following issues:

  1. Would prompt communication of identification of hazards and suggested courses of action or corrections to responsible management leadership, by safety professionals, meet the intent of point [C]?
  2. Would a safety professional be potentially held criminally liable under the OSH Act if his/her suggested corrective action was not taken and the result was a fatality, injury, or illness to an employee?
  3. ASSE remains concerned with the tort liability of safety professionals who are charged with this responsibility arising from workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
If we are incorrect in these views/concerns, we specifically request that OSHA needs to provide rationale in its preface/preamble addressing this concern in the rule.

(c)(2) Employee participation.
(c)(2)(i) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer must provide employees with opportunities for participation in establishing, implementing, and evaluating the program.
(c)(2)(ii) What must the employer do to ensure that employees have opportunities for participation? The employer must:
(A) Regularly communicate with employees about workplace safety and health matters;
(B) Provide employees with access to information relevant to the program;
(C) Provide ways for employees to become involved in hazard identification and assessment, prioritizing hazards, training, and program evaluation;
(D) Establish a way for employees to report job-related fatalities, injuries, illnesses, incidents, and hazards promptly and to make recommendations about appropriate ways to control those hazards; and
(E) Provide prompt responses to such reports and recommendations.

(c)(2)(iii) What must the employer do to safeguard employee participation in the program? The employer must not discourage employees from making reports and recommendations about fatalities, injuries, illnesses, incidents, or hazards in the workplace, or from otherwise participating in the workplace safety and health program.
Note: In carrying out this paragraph (c)(2), the employer must comply with the National Labor Relations Act.

The relationship of employees to employers is a subject central to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA Act) when describing the intent of the Act. The OSHA Act speaks of encouraging employers and employees in a joint effort to reduce the number of hazards in the workplace; of stimulating employers and employees to institute and to perfect existing safety programs. The OSHA Act also recognized the separate but interdependent responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthful working conditions.

ASSE supports the requirement that management should not discourage employees from being actively involved in a workplace safety and health management program. However, ASSE has concern that the Agency might use the proposed language in [c](2)(iii) language in attempt to prohibit traditional safety incentive programs. We recommend that the language proposed in the regulation not be used to prohibit traditional safety incentive programs. Compliance officers need to be trained that incentive programs are to be part of a broader safety and health program, not serving as the entire program or the primary element of it. Incentive programs must incorporate emphasis on employees reporting any work-related injury/illness irrespective of the effect on the incentive program award status.

(d) Hazard identification and assessment.
(d)(1) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer must systematically identify and assess hazards to which employees are exposed and assess compliance with the General Duty Clause and OSHA standards.

(d)(2) What must the employer do to systematically identify and assess hazards and assess compliance? The employer must:
(i) Conduct inspections of the workplace;
(ii) Review safety and health information;
(iii) Evaluate new equipment, materials, and processes for hazards before they are introduced into the workplace; and
(iv) Assess the severity of identified hazards and rank those that cannot be corrected immediately according to their severity.
Note: Some OSHA standards impose additional, more specific requirements for hazard identification and assessment. This rule does not displace those requirements.

ASSE Comment: Clearly some of the elements cited in (i) through (iv) are outside the levels of competence for many organizations impacted by this rule, primarily small businesses. This proposed rule offers an opportunity to raise awareness of safety and health programs which has not been seen since 1969. The time has come for OSHA to work with the accredited professional safety and health certification bodies and membership organizations, such as ASSE, to implement and maintain a quality system for voluntary third party audits and evaluations.

The long term success of this rule will dictated by the competence of those responsible to monitor its compliance. ASSE takes the opportunity to point out that the Society is the secretariat of the accredited American National Standards (ANSI) project titled; Z590, Criteria for Establishing Levels of Competence and Certification in the Safety Profession. Our belief is that this standard as a work in progress, when created/approved, will have significant impact on the practice of the safety profession. The Morella Amendment to the National Technology Transfer Act of 1995 requires that national voluntary consensus be considered for implementation during formal rule making, thus, the significance of this standard for the proposed rule. Most importantly, OSHA has an official vote on the draft standard, and we recommend that the agency consider recognizing/citing the standard in the rule after it is approved through the ANSI process.

(d)(3) How often must the employer carry out the hazard identification and assessment process? The employer must carry it out:
(i) Initially;
(ii) As often thereafter as necessary to ensure compliance with the General Duty Clause and OSHA standards and at least every two years; and
(iii) When safety and health information or a change in workplace conditions indicates that a new or increased hazard may be present.

ASSE Comment: The Society has concern with requirement (iii) as it is not realistic to expect a safety professional to conduct a hazard identification and assessment each time there is information provided in a professional safety or trade association publication. This concern is due to the OSHA definition of "Safety and Health Information". In effect, this sets the stage to punish employers and safety professionals who are proactive in the safety and health profession. This would also have a chilling effect on safety professionals belonging to professional organizations such as ASSE. Our suggestion is that (iii) be taken out of the regulation or the definition be revised in the following manner:

(iii) When safety and health information or a A significant change in workplace conditions indicates that a new or increased hazard may be present.

(d)(4) When must the employer investigate safety and health events in the workplace? The employer must investigate each work-related death, serious injury or illness, or incident (near-miss) having the potential to cause death or serious physical harm.
(d)(5) What records of safety and health program activities must the employer keep? The employer must keep records of the hazards identified and their assessment and the actions the employer has taken or plans to take to control those hazards. Exemption: Employers with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements of this rule.
(e) Hazard prevention and control.
(e)(1) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer's basic obligation is to systematically comply with the hazard prevention and control requirements of the General Duty Clause and OSHA standards.
(e)(2) If it is not possible for the employer to comply immediately, what must the employer do? The employer must develop a plan for coming into compliance as promptly as possible, which includes setting priorities and deadlines and tracking progress in controlling hazards.
Note: Any hazard identified by the employer's hazard identification and assessment process that is covered by an OSHA standard or the General Duty Clause must be controlled as required by that standard or that clause, as appropriate.
(f) Information and training.
(f)(1) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer must ensure that:
(i) Each employee is provided with information and training in the safety and health program; and
(ii) Each employee exposed to a hazard is provided with information and training in that hazard. Note: Some OSHA standards impose additional, more specific requirements for information and training. This rule does not displace those requirements.
(f)(2) What information and training must the employer provide to exposed employees? The employer must provide information and training in the following subjects:
(i) The nature of the hazards to which the employee is exposed and how to recognize them; (ii) What is being done to control these hazards;
(iii) What protective measures the employee must follow to prevent or minimize exposure to these hazards; and
(iv) The provisions of applicable standards.
(f)(3) When must the employer provide the information and training required by this rule? (f)(3)(i) The employer must provide initial information and training as follows:
(A) For current employees, before the compliance date specified in paragraph (i) for this paragraph (f); and
(B) For new employees, before initial assignment to a job involving exposure to a hazard.
Note: The employer is not required to provide initial information and training in any subject in paragraph (f)(2) for which the employer can demonstrate that the employee has already been adequately trained.
(f)(3)(ii) The employer must provide periodic information and training:
(A) As often as necessary to ensure that employees are adequately informed and trained; and
(B) When safety and health information or a change in workplace conditions indicates that a new or increased hazard exists.

ASSE Comment: The Society has concern with requirement (f)(3)(ii) as it is not realistic to expect a safety professional to conduct training each time there is information provided in a professional safety or trade association publication. This concern is due to the OSHA definition of "Safety and Health Information". In effect, this sets the stage to punish employers and safety professionals who are proactive in the safety and health profession. This would also have a chilling effect on safety professionals belonging to professional organizations such as ASSE. Our suggestion is that (iii) be taken out of the regulation or the definition be revised in the following manner:

(B) When safety and health information or a A significant change in workplace conditions indicates that a new or increased hazard may be present.

(f)(4) What training must the employer provide to employees who have program responsibilities? The employer must provide all employees who have program responsibilities with the information and training necessary for them to carry out their safety and health responsibilities.

ASSE Comment: A significant portion of this regulation is dedicated to the importance of training. Significantly, the Society is the secretariat of the accredited American National Standards (ANSI) project titled; Z490, Criteria for Best Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training. Our belief is that this standard as a work in progress, when created/approved, will have significant impact on safety, health, and environmental training and federal/state legislation and regulation impacting such training. The Morella Amendment to the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 requires that national voluntary consensus be considered for implementation during formal rule making, thus, the significance of this rule. Most importantly, OSHA has an official on the Z490 committee creating the draft standard, and we recommend that the agency consider recognizing/citing the standard in the rule after it is approved through the ANSI process.

(g) Evaluation of program effectiveness.
(g)(1) What is the employer's basic obligation?
The employer's basic obligation is to evaluate the safety and health program to ensure that it is effective and appropriate to workplace conditions.
(g)(2) How often must the employer evaluate the effectiveness of the program? The employer must evaluate the effectiveness of the program:
(i) As often as necessary to ensure program effectiveness;
(ii) At least once within the 12 months following the final compliance date specified in paragraph (i); and
(iv) Thereafter at least once every two years.
(g)(3) When is the employer required to revise the program? The employer must revise the program in a timely manner to correct deficiencies identified by the program evaluation.
(h) Multi-employer workplaces.
(h)(1) What are the host employer's responsibilities?
The host employer's responsibilities are to:
(i) Provide information about hazards, controls, safety and health rules, and emergency procedures to all employers at the workplace; and
(ii) Ensure that safety and health responsibilities are assigned as appropriate to other employers at the workplace.
(h)(2) What are the responsibilities of the contract employer? The responsibilities of a contract employer are to:
(i) Ensure that the host employer is aware of the hazards associated with the contract employer's work and what the contract employer is doing to address them; and
(ii) Advise the host employer of any previously unidentified hazards that the contract employer identifies at the workplace.

(i) Dates.
(i)(1) What is the effective date for this rule?
The effective date for this rule is [insert date 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register].
(i)(2) When must the employer be in compliance with the requirements of this rule?
(i)(2)(i) Employers with fewer than 10 employees must comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c), (f), and (h) by [insert date 18 months after the effective date], and with paragraphs (d), (e), and (g) by [insert date 36 months after the effective date]. (i)(2)(ii) Employers with 10 employees or more must comply with the requirements in paragraphs (c), (f), and (h) by [insert date 9 months after the effective date], and with paragraphs (d), (e), and (g) by [insert date 18 months after the effective date].

(j) Definitions.
Control means to reduce exposure to hazards in accordance with the General Duty Clause or OSHA standards, including providing appropriate supplemental and/or interim protection, as necessary, to exposed employees. Prevention and elimination are the best forms of control.
Contract employer is an employer who performs work for a host employer at the host employer's workplace. A contract employer does not include an employer who provides incidental services that do not influence the workplace safety and health program, whose employees are only incidentally exposed to hazards at the host employer's workplace (e.g., food and drink services, delivery services, or other supply services).
Employee means all persons who are considered employees under the OSH Act, including temporary, seasonal, and "leased" employees.
Employer means all persons who are considered employers under the OSH Act.
Exposure (exposed) means that an employee in the course of employment is reasonably likely to be subjected to a hazard.
General Duty Clause means the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, Section 5(a)(1), which states that "[e]ach employer...shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."
Host employer means an employer who controls conditions at a multi-employer worksite.
Multi-employer worksite means a workplace where there is a host employer and at least one contract employer.
Program means procedures, methods, processes, and practices that are part of the management system at the workplace.
Safety and health information means the establishment's fatality, injury, and illness experience, OSHA 200 logs, workers' compensation claims, nurses' logs, the results of any medical screening/surveillance, employee safety and health complaints and reports, environmental and biological exposure data, information from prior workplace safety and health inspections, Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), the results of employee symptom surveys, safety manuals and health and safety warnings provided to the employer by equipment manufacturers and chemical suppliers, information about occupational safety and health provided to the employer by trade associations or professional safety or health organizations, and the results of prior accident and incident investigations at the workplace.

ASSE Comment: We offer the following alternative definition:
Safety and health information means the establishment's fatality, injury, and illness experience, OSHA 200 logs, workers' compensation claims, nurses' logs, employee safety and health complaints and reports, environmental and biological exposure data, any other publicly available safety and health document(s), Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), safety manuals and health and safety warnings provided to the employer by equipment manufacturers and chemical suppliers, information about occupational safety and health provided to the employer by trade associations or professional safety or health organizations, and the results of prior accident and incident investigations at the workplace.

Severity means the likelihood of employee exposure, the seriousness of harm associated with the exposure, and the number of exposed employees.


     

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