White Paper Calls for OSH Policy Change from New Administration

In conjunction with today's historic national election and the promises of change from both candidates leading up to it, New York-based human resources firm ORC Worldwide has released a white paper calling on the occupational safety and health community and the new administration to create a more collaborative infrastructure and break the cycle of confrontation that it says has long stymied progress in reducing workplace injuries and illnesses.

The report, "Breaking the Cycle: New Approaches to Establishing National Workplace Safety and Health Policy," notes that the United States is already falling behind other regions of the world in adopting safety and health policies that protect workers. For example, while the United States continues to rely on outdated hazard-specific standards, around the world both developed and developing nations are recognizing this approach cannot keep up with the pace of workplace change. As a result, outside the U.S., employers are acknowledging their obligation to evaluate all workplace risks and address them appropriately with management systems and competent safety and health resources.

The lack of progress in the United States is due, at least in part, "to our collective inability to forge new consensus approaches to improving workplace safety and health policy at the national level," according to the report, distributed Monday. To help break the OSH policy logjam, ORC makes three specific recommendations designed to create a more collaborative infrastructure. These include:

  • Establishing a national action plan to ensure all employers adopt a risk-based approach to safety
  • Engaging an expert panel and stakeholder review of OSHA's "broken" standard-setting process
  • Creating a transparent and participatory government policy structure

"We are frankly weary of the culture of confrontation that perennially pervades the debates over workplace safety and health policy, that leads to political stalemate and that has alienated much of the safety and health community," says ORC Senior Vice President Frank White, author of the white paper.

A company news release added it believes today's election presents the safety and health community with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to break the longstanding gridlock on progress in many key areas of safety and health policy. The recommended actions are intended to be the beginning of an effort to change the culture of national safety and health policy making. For more information, visit www.orcworldwide.com.

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