Advisory committees

NACOSH approves recommendations on OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

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Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

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Washington – National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health members recently approved recommendations on OSHA’s draft Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines.

The unanimous approval followed a three-hour meeting convened by NACOSH on March 4 to analyze and edit the document. OSHA has full authority to decide how to use the material going forward.

NACOSH members offer advice on occupational safety and health issues for the secretaries of labor and health and human services. According to OSHA, the guidelines (which were originally published in 1989) “provide employers and workers with a sound, flexible framework for addressing safety and health issues in the workplace.” The updated document adds materials on finding and fixing hazards proactively, increasing worker involvement in safety and health, and establishing better communication and coordination at worksites with multiple employers.

During the meeting, NACOSH members praised OSHA for the detailed approach to keeping workers safe. Committee member Joseph Van Houten said the focus on safety is impressive but the document could benefit from a stronger focus on health, as well. “I found it very interesting as well as very valuable,” said Van Houten, who is the senior director of worldwide environment, health and safety with New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson. “I think it’s going to be very helpful to an audience that will pick this up.”

National Safety Council Consulting Services Director Wes Scott described the document as “a huge step forward for OSHA” during the public comment portion of the meeting. Scott advised the agency to keep smaller and medium-sized organizations in mind while crafting the guidelines.

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