OSHA head honcho Dr. David Michaels zeroed in quickly on his priorities at the National Safety Congress’s Tuesday morning summit session. He's pushing hard to produce the so-called I2P2 standard, or the Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule. It is a game-changer in terms of how OSHA will regulate.
Instead of waiting for accidents, employers will be required to "find and fix" hazards before trouble erupts. These workplace assessments will call for close collaboration, communication and participation of the whole workplace culture: managers, supervisors and employees.
Dr. Michaels congratulated attendees for already having such programs in place. "I'm preaching to the choir here," he said. He was also girding the troops for battle. "The big trade associations will oppose this," he said. "Trade associations will tell us we're crazy to be telling people how to run their safety programs."
The OSHA boss's second priority is to modernize how industry tracks injuries and illnesses. He wants to adopt an electronic system that will permit both OSHA and employers to slice and dice injury and illness data in many ways.