Employers who have longed to give the Occupational Safety and Health Administration a piece of their mind now have the chance to do so.
OSHA has launched a survey of private-sector employers as a tool toward better designing future rules, compliance assistance and outreach efforts. As many as 19,000 employers nationwide will receive the “Baseline Survey of Safety and Health Practices,” which asks questions about workplace safety and health management practices.
The survey is completely voluntary. Results are anonymous and cannot be used for enforcement.
The survey is being sent to private-sector employers of all sizes and across all industries under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Questions include whether respondents already have a safety management system, whether they perform annual inspections, who manages safety at their establishments, and what kinds of hazards they encounter at their facilities.
The survey is accompanied by a cover letter from Dr. David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. For employers with questions, the survey also includes contact information for OSHA and its contractor, Eastern Research Group.
|OSHA is asking employers about safety practices. Recently, an Ohio OSHA inspector directed an employee exit a trench that appeared unsafe (left). The employee did and, within five minutes, the trench collapsed (right), filling the space with six to seven feet of soil.|
Those respondents will receive a paper copy of the survey and the option to complete it online. Only employers who receive a paper copy of the survey will be able to complete the online version.
OSHA published a notice Aug. 12, 2010, of its intent to conduct the survey in the Federal Register. Following a 60-day comment period, OSHA published a second Federal Register notice for comments on Nov. 3, 2010, and received clearance from the Office of Management and Budget to proceed. A pre-test with a sample of employers was conducted in April.
The agency expects data collection to be completed by August.