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David Michaels: Future of Occupational Safety and Health

David Michaels: Future of Occupational Safety and Health
OSHA Administrator, David Michaels, has expanded on the actions that are taken by OSHA till date in a plenary session at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Safety 2010 conference on June 14. His speech was quite inspirational and has inspired safety professionals across the globe to get involved and help shape the agency’s future.

Michaels told ASSE attendees, “We want you to hear from us that OSHA is back and we are a strong regulatory agency first and foremost.” Explaining the aim and objective of OSHA, he said that OSHA is working “to make fundamental changes to secure workplaces.” He emphasized on the matter that OSHA's goal is to encourage employers to plan, prevent and protect, but not to punish or react.

Michaels gave a brief idea regarding some of OSHA’s priorities and actions over the past months, including: hiring additional standards writers and inspectors; moving more personnel into enforcement; developing a Severe Violator Enforcement Program; making the agency more accessible; taking the time to listen to stakeholders; conducting expanded evaluations of all state plans and enforcement programs; and more.

Michaels gave major priority to the Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard. This standard will assist the workers in identifying and remedying hazards. He said, “We could change workplace health and safety on levels that we haven’t seen since [the 1970] OSHA Act.”

OSHA has always given first preference to the safety of the workers and to save them from potential hazards at a workplace. OSHA has been working continuously to provide safety trainings for the employees in order to ensure their safety and health while working, thus enhancing the environment of the workplace also.