There is increased activity on occupational health and safety (OHS) programs in OSHA under its new administration. The agency’s new director is addressing and improving the safety culture in companies. One vehicle to do this is addressing comprehensive OHS programs. There was activity in the mid- to late 1990s in this area with attempts to codify the highly regarded Voluntary Protection Program and elevate the status of OSHA’s 1989 Program Guidelines. These efforts morphed into attempts in federal OSHA to adopt a national Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) found in a handful of states, including California.
In a March 25, 2010 speech to a joint meeting of local sections of the ASSE and AIHA, David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, discussed how OSHA inspectors are increasingly looking at how companies “are taking steps to improve the overall [OHS] performance, reduce risk, and make prevention a daily part operations.” He said that there is a more “intense look at whether there is in place a comprehensive safety and health management system, and asking ‘is it being implemented, and are management and workers working together toward continuous improvement.’”