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OSHA SURVEY FINDS 85 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS DO SELF-AUDITS OF SAFETY AND HEALTH CONDITIONS IN WORKPLACES


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From: PNEAC Webmaster (pneac@istc.illinois.edu)
Date: Mon Nov 29 1999 - 10:58:44 CST


More than 85 percent of employers in a recent Occupational Safety and
Health Administration survey said they conduct voluntary self-audits of
safety and health conditions in their workplaces, approximately a 60
percent increase from percentages reported in a survey conducted in 1981 by
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Moreover, nearly
90 percent of employers surveyed in larger general industry establishments
said they had conducted an inspection in the last 12 months.

The OSHA survey, which involved telephone interviews with 492 large and
small employers in general industry and construction, revealed that
employers conduct self- audits to:

* reduce injury and illness rates (83 percent);
* do the "right thing" (79 percent); and
* to be in compliance with OSHA regulations (79 percent).

When employers not now conducting self-inspections were asked what would
encourage them to begin, they said the strongest influences would be
lowering insurance costs; increasing the probability that injury and
illness rates would decrease; and receiving a penalty reduction if OSHA
inspected and found a violation.

Some insurance companies develop partnerships with OSHA and offer reduced
premiums to employers who participate in programs to assist them in
conducting self-inspections. OSHA also distributes guidance for conducting
such self-audits in the form of "on- line advisors" on the Internet.
Employers can find these advisors by going to the OSHA web page at
http://www.osha-slc.gov/dts/osta/oshasoft/

OSHA also has asked for comments on a policy published in the Oct. 6, 1999,
Federal Register, in which an employer's self-audit may be considered as
evidence of good faith. This would qualify the employer for a substantial
civil penalty reduction if OSHA proposes a penalty.

Written comments on the OSHA policy must be submitted on or before Dec. 6,
1999. Send two copies of the comments to OSHA Docket Office, Docket W-100,
Room N-2625, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department
of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20210, Telephone
202-693-2350.

Copies of the policy can be found by going to the OSHA web page at
http://www.osha-slc.gov/FedReg_osha_data/FED19991006.html

Gary Jones
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation
200 Deer Run Road
Sewickley, PA 15143
412/741-6860 x608 - Phone
412/741-2311 - Fax


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