No, OSHA has not banned safety incentive programs. In fact, on October 11, 2018, agency regional administrators received a memo from Kim Stille, acting director of enforcement programs, which walks back the Obama administration OSHA’s more hard line stance on safety incentive programs. Even under former agency head Dr. David Michaels, OSHA never out-and-out “banned” incentive / reward programs. Michaels and his leadership team took a tougher line on incentive / reward programs that retaliated against or punished workers for reporting work-related injuries or illness.
Is OSHA more irrelevant than ever? Many top OSHA officials, careerists, are working in an “acting” or interim basis: the agency’s career deputy assistant secretary position; the head of whistleblower protection; the director of training; and four of the ten agency regional administrators.
The integrity of the occupational health and safety profession is under threat as it is being drawn into “certifying” that sweatshop factories in global supply chains in the developing world are safe and meet international standards for protecting workers on the job.