OSHA updates guidance on safety and health program management


Washington – Employers should have a program designed to find and fix safety hazards, according to a new OSHA draft guidance document.

Published Nov. 16, the voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines detail core elements of an effective safety and health program:

  • Management leadership
  • Worker participation
  • Hazard identification and assessment
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Education and training
  • Program evaluation and improvement
  • Coordination and communication on multi-employer worksites

OSHA lists several steps within each core element to help establish, implement, maintain and improve programs. The agency says employers should define program goals and expectations, give workers access to safety and health information, and identify and select hazard controls.

“The guidelines will provide much needed direction and support to any business striving to achieve safe operations, but especially small and mid-sized businesses and those with multiemployer worksites,” the National Safety Council said in a statement applauding the new document.

The draft is an update and replacement for voluntary guidelines issued in 1989, and incorporates lessons learned from OSHA recognition programs and industry consensus standards. Stakeholders can comment on the draft guidance until Feb. 15.