US Department of Labor’s OSHA Launches National Survey on Employers’ Safety and Health Practices

Administration has launched a survey of private sector employers as a tool toward better designing future rules, compliance assistance and outreach efforts.  As many as 19,000 employers nationwide will receive the Baseline Survey of Safety and Health Practices, which asks questions about workplace safety and health management practices.

The survey will be sent to private sector employers of all sizes and across all industries under OSHA’s jurisdiction.  Questions include whether respondents already have a safety management system, whether they perform annual inspections, who manages safety at their establishments and what kinds of hazards they encounter at their facilities.  Participation in the survey is voluntary. 

The survey is accompanied by a cover letter from Assistant Secretary of Labor of OSHA – Dr. David Michaels.  Contact information for OSHA and its contractor, Eastern Research Group, is included for respondents who have questions about the survey.  They will receive a paper copy of the survey that can be filled out and returned to ERG and the option to complete it online.  Only those who receive a paper copy of the survey will be able to complete the online version. 

The agency expects the data collection phase to be completed by August.  ERG will provide the results – which will be anonymous and cannot be used for enforcement – to OSHA. 

OSHA published a notice of its intent to conduct the survey in the Federal Register on August 12, 2010.  Following a 60-day comment period, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, OSHA published a second Federal Register notice for comments on November3, 2010, and received clearance from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct the survey.  A pre-test with a sample of employers was conducted in April 2011. 

For more information about the survey an to view a copy, visit http://www.osha.gov/national-survey/national-survey-announcementbaseline-survey.html 

Under the Occupational safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.  OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, an providing training, education and assistance.  For more information, visit http:www.osha.gov.