With a new administration taking a new approach to federal agencies, ISHN thought it a good time to survey our readers to find out what they feel should be the shape and direction OSHA takes going forward. For instance, the majority of respondents felt that increased educational tools and programs should be the top priority for the next OSHA Chief. Half or more respondents expect a thorough review of standards or increased support for the voluntary protection program.

The numbers

78% want an increase educational tools and programs. Of this group, 83%  had safety-related jobs and 69%were in corporate management.

59% want a review of existing standards in order to revise or eliminate those whose benefits do not outweigh costs.

52% want more support for the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

30% want the agency to set a standard for behavior-based safety

27% want specific industries (like construction, oil and gas) targeted

19% want the total number of inspections reduced -- more people in corporate management (33%) than in safety functions (15%)

14% want workplace inspections turned over to third- party certified consultants – more in corporate management (22%) than in safety functions (10%)

Higher penalties or nitpicking "bullies"?

Survey respondents offered a number of OSHA-related suggestions and comments as well, including:

  • Combine OSHA and the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) to eliminate duplicate overhead
  • Do not nitpick errors -- use only real hazards
  • Eliminate the completely arbitrary enforcement by a bunch of bullies
  • Higher fines for violations
  • Increase amount of inspections performed year-round
  • Increase employer penalties for gross negligence
  • Increase OSHA training opportunities
  • Promulgate an IIPP standard similar to California's
  • Science based decisions. Stop the targeted industries.
  • Serve as a safety advisor first and enforcement second if companies do not cooperate
  • Update obsolete PELs
  • Work to increase penalties for fatal injuries for companies that do not follow standards

Tomorrow: Standards ISHN readers would like to see repealed.

Click to read more survey results

VPP funding gets a "thumbs up" from ISHN readers

Should OSHA's budget change?

OSHA standards: To repeal or not to repeal