OSHA signed a memorandum of understanding last month with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizing the importance of close cooperation and collaboration between the FDA and OSHA--two enforcement agencies responsible for preventing injuries and illnesses. To better protect both workers and consumers, the two agencies have agreed to share relevant information obtained during inspections of facilities where food is produced, processed or held.
Both agencies developed and implemented formal communications procedures and processes, including staff training. The training covered each agency's mission and responsibilities, what each agency regulates and how to identify the types of situations each agency would like employees to watch for and report. "The intent of the training program was to share information that may assist each agency. This is not an attempt to make OSHA inspectors become FDA Investigators or vice- versa. This training is intended to raise everyone's awareness level so that information can be shared," said OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels. "Our combined efforts to share information on possible violations of OSHA and FDA standards will help minimize the potential for injuries, illnesses and deaths."