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OSHA Focusing on State Bodies

OSHA is stepping up its collaboration with state agencies.

In response to a string of construction fatalities in the state of Nevada, the federal body of OSHA is pushing for state bodies to follow national programs that target certain industries or certain types of safety concerns. OSHA is also reviewing it’s state-review process, which has been cited to be too loose in previous years. Although about half of the states operate their own OSHA bodies, the federal body is mandated to monitor the state agencies and evaluate their programs to be as effective as their national counterpart.

Additionally, OSHA has asked the states to participate in a plan to review if employers are properly reporting employee injuries. Up for debate is the National Emphasis Program, in which OSHA conducts blitzes in a particular industry or targets specific issues that have risen to its attention, often because of reports of major accidents or high injury rates. Although it’s currently voluntary for states to participate, discussion resides in whether or not it should be mandatory for state participation.

What do you think? Should the National Emphasis Program be mandatory?

View the article in the Wall Street Journal

Source: Alexandra Berzon.  “OSHA Boosts Oversight of State Safety Agencies. ” Wall Street Journal (Online) 29  Mar. 2010, Wall Street Journal, ProQuest. Web.  29 Mar. 2010.

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