Michaels: OSHA learning from EU strategies

July 18, 2012

Brussels – OSHA is looking to collaborate with, and follow in the footsteps of, the European Union, agency administrator David Michaels said during a recent speech.

Both the EU and United States have similar concerns and goals, and OSHA “welcomes the opportunity to discover new methods that have been successfully implemented in the EU,” Michaels said in prepared remarks July 11 at the 7th EU-U.S. Joint Conference on Occupational Safety and Health.

He noted that several strategies originally initiated by the EU have been adapted for the United States, including national outreach programs, such as those to combat heat-related illnesses and protect health care workers (.pdf file).

Collaboration between countries benefits the safety and health of workers and promotes economic growth, according to Michaels. He referenced the Globally Harmonized System for Classifying and Labeling of Chemicals, which was partially implemented in the United States through OSHA’s recently revised Hazard Communication Standard.

“Working together with a common set of rules, we all gain,” Michaels said.