Dr. Dan Anna, Ph.D., CIH, CSP and AIHA President hosts this “show” with guests Dr. David Michaels and Dr. John Howard. This is an interesting time to hear both the longest-serving OSHA chief ever and the longest-serving NIOSH director. With the presidential election approaching, it’s a time for the two EHS “stars” to reflect on their long tenures, and project what lies ahead in EHS for the next administration.
Dr. Michaels has certainly been a busy man lately. OSHA has issued two major, and very controversial standards in recent months – on controlling silica dust exposures and on electronic recordkeeping. The recordkeeping regulation will for the first time post the injury and illness records of high-hazard worksites. OSHA claims this transparency will force companies to upgrade their EHS programs if they are found lacking. But business groups, and some EHS pros, fear going public with injury rates will lead to under-reporting to avoid getting a public black eye for poor safety performance. There is also concern that OSHA is focusing too much on a lagging indicator and neglecting various leading performance indicators that are gaining popularity.
Also, OSHA in this recordkeeping rule is making it clear to employers that incentive programs that dissuade employees from reporting injuries must be modified to allow reporting. And OSHA also ventures into new ground, saying drug testing after accidents must have a probable cause. Deciding if there is probable cause for drug testing will confuse some employers.
The “show” continues in an Ask the Expert session with Dr. Michaels and Dr. Howard after the General Session.