A closer look at OSHA’s plans

Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw went into great detail describing some of OSHA plans and goals for addressing ergonomics problems. Here are some of the highlights:

• Inspections: While the number of OSHA inspections has remained fairly steady in recent years, there will be about 400 more inspections conducted in 2002 than in 2001. Next year, 1,300 more inspections will be added.

• Communication: OSHA recently sent letters to more than 13,000 worksites, advising them that they had high injury and illness rates and offering help to improve worker safety and health.

• Site-Specific Targeting Program: Sites with the highest reported injury and illness rates are most likely to be inspected. Over the next year, about 3,000 sites will be inspected under this program.

• Professional Certification: OSHA believes professional certification establishes expertise and enhances credibility. An OSHA group is reviewing requirements and costs to get professional certifications for compliance officers and other agency employees.

• Outreach: OSHA’s 24-hour line — (800) 321-OSHA — now offers a Spanish option. A Spanish page has been added to the web site for employers and employees. The agency’s Hispanic Task Force, established last fall, is actively pursuing partnerships and planning a summit to share successful strategies in reaching employers and workers with limited English.

• QuickTakes: This new free service is a bimonthly news memo that can be automatically delivered to your e-mail address. This roundup of news items includes links to more detailed information on the OSHA web page (www.osha.gov).