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()V 



OSHA: NEW MISSION FOR A NEW WORKPUCE 



Y4.G 74/7: M 69/5 

nSHfi: Heu Jlission for a Heu Uorkpla... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES 
AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT 

REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 
HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 17, 1995 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 




t pp.,. 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
40-117 CC WASHINGTON : 1997 



For sale by ihe U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-055032-7 



j ^ OSHA: NEW MISSION FOR A NEW WORKPUCE 

Y 4. G 74/7: H "69/5 

DSHA: Neu riission for a Heu Horkpla... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES 
AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT 

REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 
HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 17, 1995 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 




'^Vm,. 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
40-117 CC WASHINGTON : 1997 



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-055032-7 



COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 



WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania, Chairman 



BENJAMIN A. OILMAN, New York 
DAN BURTON, Indiana 
J. DENNIS HASTERT, IlUnois 
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland 
CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut 
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico 
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida 
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire 
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York 
STEPHEN HORN, California 
JOHN L. MICA, Florida 
PETER BLUTE, Massachusetts 
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia 
DAVID M. McINTOSH, Indiana 
JON D. FOX, Pennsylvania 
RANDY TATE, Washington 
DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan 
GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota 
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana 
WILLL\M J. MARTINI, New Jersey 
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida 
JOHN B. SHADEGG, Arizona 
MICHAEL PATRICK FLANAGAN, Illinois 
CHARLES F. BASS, New Hampshire 
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio 
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South 

Carolina 
ROBERT L. EHRLICH, Jr., Maryland 



CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois 
HENRY A. WAXMAN, CaUfomia 
TOM LANTOS, California 
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia 
MAJOR R. OWENS, New York 
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York 
JOHN M. SPRATT, Jr., South Carolina 
LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER, New 

York 
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania 
GARY A. CONDIT, California 
COLLIN C. PETERSON, Minnesota 
KAREN L. THURMAN, Florida 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 
THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi 
BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan 
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of 

Columbia 
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia 
GENE GREEN, Texas 
CARRIE P. MEEK, Florida 
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania 
BILL BREWSTER, Oklahoma 
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania 



BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 

(Independent) 

James L. Clarke, Staff Director 

Kevin Sabo, General Counsel 

Judith McCoy, Chief Clerk 

Bud Myers, Minority Staff Director 



Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations 



CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, 
MARK E. SHOUDER, Indiana 
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico 
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland 
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia 
DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan 
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, New Jersey 
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida 
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South 
Carolina 



Connecticut, Chairman 
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York 
TOM LANTOS, CaUfomia 
BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont (Ind.) 
THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 
GENE GREEN, Texas 
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania 
HENRY A WAXMAN, CaUfomia 



Ex Officio 

WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania CARDISS COLLINS, lUinois 

Lawrence J. Halloran, Staff Director and Counsel 

Christopher Allred, Professional Staff Member 

Thomas M. Costa, Clerk 

Cheryl Phelps, Minority Professional Staff Member 



(II) 



CONTENTS 



Hearing held on October 17, 1995 1 

Statement of: 

Blanchette, Cornelia M., Associate Director, U.S. General Accounting Of- 
fice, accompanied by Charles Jeszeck, Assistant Director, Education 
and Employment, U.S. General Accounting Office; Lee Anne Elliott, 
executive director. Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Asso- 
ciation; and Glenn Rondeau, manager of safety service, Bowater/Great 
Northern Paper Co., accompanied by James W. Hamilton, president. 
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing 
and Pipefitting Industry 99 

Dear, Joseph A., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety 
and Health, U.S. Department of Labor 11 

Steinmetz, William, Jr., safety and loss control manager. Midland Engi- 
neering Co.; and Michael J. Wright, director of health, safety, and 

environment. United Steelworkers of America 168 

Letters, statements, etc., submitted for the record by: 

Blanchette, Cornelia M., Associate Director, U.S. General Accounting Of- 
fice, prepared statement of 101 

Collins, Hon. Cardiss, a Representative in Congress from the State of 
Illinois, prepared statement of 4 

Dear, Joseph A., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety 
and Health, U.S. Department of Labor: 

Information concerning egregious cases 16 

Information concerning Labor Policy Association 88 

Prepared statement of 28 

Elliott, Lee Anne executive director. Voluntary Protection Programs Par- 
ticipants' Association, prepared statement of 122 

Green, Hon. Gene, a Representative in Congress fi-om the State of Texas, 
prepared statement of 8 

Martini, Hon. William J., a Representative in Congress from the State 
of New Jersey, March 21, 1995, memo 67 

MoreUa, Hon. Constance A., a Representative in Congress from the State 
of Maryland, prepared statement of 77 

Rondeau, Glenn, manager of safety service, Bowater/Great Northern 
Paper Co., and James W. Hamilton, president. United Association of 
Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, 
prepared statement of 128 

Steinmetz, William, Jr., safety and loss control manager. Midland Engi- 
neering Co., prepared statement of 171 

Wright, Michael J., director of health, safety, and environment. United 
Steelworkers of America, prepared statement of 183 

(III) 



OSHA: NEW MISSION FOR A NEW WORKPLACE 



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 1995 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee on Human Resources and 
Intergovernmental Relations, 
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2 p.m., in room 
2247, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Christopher Shays 
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding. 

Present: Representatives Shays, Morella, Souder, Martini, 
Scarborough, Lantos, Green, and Fattah. 

Staff present: Lawrence J. Halloran, staff director and counsel; 
Doris F. Jacobs, associate counsel; Christopher Allred, professional 
staff member; and Thomas M. Costa, clerk; Cheryl Phelps, minority 
professional staff member; and Elisabeth Campbell, minority staff 
assistant. 

Mr. Shays. I would like to call the hearing to order, welcome our 
witnesses on our three panels and welcome our guests to this hear- 
ing. 

I would like to begin by reading the fine observation that was 
made by someone recently. It goes this way, "In the public's view, 
OSHA has been driven too often by numbers and rules, not by 
smart enforcement and results. Business complains about overzeal- 
ous and burdensome rules. Many people see OSHA as an agency 
so enmeshed in its own red tape that it has lost sight of its own 
mission. And too often, a 'one-size-fits-all' regulatory approach has 
treated conscientious employers no differently from those who put 
workers needlessly at risk." 

The source of this critique? The Chamber of Commerce? No. The 
National Federation of Independent Businesses? No. Newt Ging- 
rich? No. This candidate assessment comes from the Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), announcing "The New 
OSHA— Reinventing Worker Safety and Health." 

This oversight hearing will examine OSHA's efforts to reengineer 
worker safety standards and enforcement to meet the new realities 
of the 21st century workplace. Again, in OSHA's own words, we 
will look at "the need for OSHA" and "the need for OSHA to 
change." 

The need for national safety and health standards in the work- 
place is undisputed. Last year, more than 6,000 people died as a 
result of occupational injury. That human tragedy demands a vigi- 
lant national response to the hazards of work. In purely economic 
terms, the skill and energy of the American worker have made our 

(1) 



economy the most productive in the world. That asset is best pro- 
tected and enhanced in a safe workplace, but the American work- 
place is changing, and OSHA must change with it. 

In 1970, when the Occupational Health and Safety Act was en- 
acted, U.S. non-agricultural emplo3anent stood at 71 million. Today 
that work force is almost twice as large, 114 million. 

In 1970, 33 percent of all non-farm jobs were in goods-producing 
industries, including manufacturing and construction. By 1994, 
that percentage had fallen to 21 percent. 

In 1970, 67 percent of jobs were in service-producing industries. 
Today, 79 percent, or 90 million employees, work in service indus- 
tries. 

If it was ever true that OSHA could effectively inspect, monitor, 
and improve safety conditions at all the Nation's workplaces, it is 
not a valid operational premise today. Instead, new approaches are 
being explored to stimulate voluntary compliance by industry and 
to transform OSHA from cop to coimselor, from prosecutor to part- 
ner. 

By targeting the most unsafe workplaces through programs like 
Maine 200 or working cooperatively with business and labor to ad- 
dress health and safety issues in the Voluntary Protection Pro- 
gram, OSHA says it is responding to the concerns of its customers 
and focusing on results. 

So we ask our witnesses to tell us how the reinvention of OSHA 
is going and to convince us that the agency no longer deserves its 
red tape reputation. 

For me, the bottom-line question is this: Will a re-engineered 
OSHA effectively and efficiently protect the safety of -Ajnerican 
workers? 

I would like to welcome our witness, but before doing that, it is 
my distinct pleasure to invite Mr. Lantos, a gentleman whom I con- 
sider a model of the very best in terms of his ability to learn a lot 
at public hearings. I welcome the gentleman back, and it is an 
honor to have you here. 

Mr. Lantos. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. You and I 
have shared countless hours during the HUD hearings, and I think 
you deserve a great deal of the credit for having cleaned up at least 
some of the mess during the Reagan administration in the Depart- 
ment of Housing and Urban Development. 

As you well know, a very large number of individuals who testi- 
fied before our committee are presently enjoying Federal prison fa- 
cilities which is not an indication as to what will happen to our 
current witnesses. 

Mr. Chairman, I could not think of a more fair-minded Repub- 
lican chairman than you are, and I enjoy sitting here with you, but 
I cannot help but comment at the outset that the mindless assault 
on OSHA, which has in its relatively short existence of 25 years 
saved 140,000 American lives — and I want to repeat that — 140,000 
American working men and women are alive today because of 
OSHA, an organization which, as so msiny worthwhile organiza- 
tions, is under a frontal and brutal and mindless assault. 

I will do my utmost in this field, as in other fields, to prevent 
the wrecking crew from doing its work. It is as realistic to evaluate 
OSHA on the basis of some stupid bureaucratic red tape regulation 



of which I am sure it is guilty than it is to evaluate the U.S. mili- 
tary in terms of the Mali massacre. 

It is very easy to-find anecdotal evidence of OSHA's stupidity and 
incompetence, excessive bureaucracy, and red tape, but I think it 
is important we don't lose sight of the overall objectives of OSHA. 

Since 1970, job fatality rates have been cut in half. Injury rates 
have fallen dramatically, and while we have had a great deal of 
progress on an average working day, 154 working men and women 
lose their lives as a result of workplace injuries and illnesses. 
16,000 are injured. There is a workplace death or injury every 5 
seconds, and it must be on the conscience of those who would like 
to eviscerate and make impotent OSHA to respond to the hundreds 
of thousands and millions of American families whose bread- 
winner's health depends upon vigilant, hardworking OSHA work. 

OSHA, as you know, Mr. Chairman, has about 900 inspectors. 
This means that the average workplace can be inspected once every 
87 years, and while some consider that excessive, I consider it woe- 
fully inadequate. 

The current budget of OSHA amounts to about $1 per citizen, 
and it compares with $350 per citizen that had to be spent to bail 
out the savings and loan industry. So, when we talk about the ex- 
cessive cost of OSHA, I hope you always bear in mind the 350- 
times-higher cost because of incompetence and corruption and 
greed in the savings and loan industry. 

The hope we have with respect to OSELA and every other agency 
is that we can make it leaner, more cost effective, more up to date, 
more efficient, more effective, and I suspect we all join in that pur- 
suit, but I think it is extremely critical as we examine this agency 
that we recognize its enormous achievements, the appallingly un- 
fair press it has received, and the determination of segments of the 
employer community who would like to destroy this watchdog of 
the health and safety of American working men and women. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Shays. I thank the gentleman for his very important state- 
ment. 

At this time, I will call our first witness, Mr. Joseph Dear, As- 
sistant Secretary of Labor, head of OSHA, the Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration. 

Mr. Dear, you are highly praised by people, both employers and 
employees. It is a real pleasure to have you here. I look forward 
to your statement. 

As is the custom of our committee, we swear in all our witnesses, 
as I think you know. If you would please stand. 

[Witness sworn.] 

Mr. Shays. I note for the record that our witness has responded 
in the affirmative. 

If I could just take care of some housekeeping, I ask unanimous 
consent that all members of the subcommittee be permitted to 
place an}' opening statements in the record and that the record re- 
main open for 3 days for that purpose, and without objection, so or- 
dered. 

[The prepared statements of Hon. Cardiss Collins and Hon. Gene 
Green follow:] 



OPENING STATEMENT OF REP. CARDISS COLLINS 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 

HUMAN RESOURCES AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL 

RELATIONS 

"OSHA: New Mission for a New Workplace" 

October 17, 1995 

Mr, Chairman, thank you for convening this hearing to examine 
the mission and reform objectives of the Department of Labor's 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA manifests the 
Federal government's commitment to protect the health and safety of 
its workforce, and its policies touch the lives of every American 
worker. 



In its 25 year history, OSHA's protective standards and 
enforcement procedures have reduced the annual workplace death rate 
by 50 percent. Even so, the number of American workers affected 
by workplace hazards is tragic and impressive. 56,000 people die 
each year as a result of work-related accidents and illnesses; and 
16,000 workers are injured each day, 6,000 seriously enough to lose 
time from work. A total of 6 million people suffer non-fatal 
workplace injuries annually, costing the economy $110 billion each 
year. 



Mr. Chairman, these numbers would be far worse if OSHA did 
not exist, and I do not buy the argument that left solely to themselves 
industries would self-regulate their worksites. If this were true, we 
would not see the flagrant abuses of Mexican laborers in U.S. 
companies at the maquiladora industrial parks on the border. For that 
matter, the we know that even in this country, where OSHA is not an 
active presence, injury and fatality rates remain high. 

Nevertheless, workers in this country suffer a terrible toll of 
workplace injury and death. OSHA must improve its efforts to 
expand and strengthen worker health and safety protections, and it 
must do so with limited and shrinking resources. 



With 2000 inspectors and $300 million budget, OSHA is 
challenged to monitor an estimated 6 million worksites nationally. 
The only way this can be accomplished through innovation reform 
that enlists the cooperation of employers. This fundamental truth 
means that OSHA must make itself more user-friendly to employers, 
a group that as long criticized the agency for its convoluted 
regulations, excessive enforcement procedures, and general unfriendly 
disposition. 

Therefore, the question before us this morning is how do we 
improve our ability to protect America's workers, and also reduce the 
unfair burdens on business? I look forward with interest to the 
testimony of our witnesses and welcome their response. 



CAP 



Statement of Representative Gene Green 
Subcommitte on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations 

October 16, 1995 



Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for calling this hearing. 
I appreciate the Chairman's attention to this issue and I 
welcome the opportunity to discuss the important role 
OSHA still has to play in today's workplace. 

Industrial and other occupational accidents are still 
part of what workers must face in today's workplace. 
In industries in which OSHA has concentrated its 
resources and attention, we have seen a significant 
decrease in injuries and fatalities over the past two 
decades. In areas in which OSHA has not directed its 
resources, like service industries, the results have not 
been as dramatic. 

Rep. Cass Ballenger of North Carolina has 
sponsored his own OSHA reform bill that is supported 



by many Republicans. This bill would provide 
employers essentially with one free shot at a citation 
because unless someone is killed or seriously injured 
they cannot be cited or penalized for a first offense. 
Also, workers would be prevented from contacting 
OSHA unless they have first raised the problem with 
their employer. Workers who fear retribution from 
their employer would have less incentive to bring up 
problems. 

Workers and honest businesses need OSHA to act 
as a cop on the beat to monitor bad employers who 
may skimp on safety as a competitive strategy. What 
are the incentives to invest in safety, if you see your 
competitors taking advantage of the situation. 

OSHA is currently undergoing significant reform. 
It is putting together a new strategy for increasing 



10 

worker protections, reducing paperwork, cutting 
burdensome regulations for employers. OSHA realizes 
that some of its practices in the past have significantly 
increased compliance costs while not increasing worker 
safety. 

Again, I appreciate the Chairman offering OSHA a 
fair hearing and I look forward to hearing the 
testimony of today's witnesses. 



11 

Mr. Shays. I also ask unanimous consent that our witnesses be 
permitted to include their written statements in the record, and 
without objection, so ordered. 

Your statement is very important to us. We are discussing your 
agency, and you should feel free to give your statement free of any 
5-minute requirement. 

I would like, for the record, just so I am certain, as I am getting 
conflicting information, if you would state before giving your testi- 
mony, the total number of employees and the total number of in- 
spectors you have. 

STATEMENT OF JOSEPH A. DEAR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF 
LABOR FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH, U.S. DE- 
PARTMENT OF LABOR 

Mr. Dear. There are about 2,317 authorized FTE for OSHA in 
fiscal 1995. About 1,000 of those are in positions designated for 
compliance. That includes supervision. 

It is important to also note that 21 States enforce health and 
safety in private sector workplaces. They include about another 
1,000 enforcement personnel. In rough terms, Mr. Chairman, there 
are approximately 2,000 compliance inspectors to cover 6 million 
workplaces. 

Mr. Shays. Not a particularly large number for such a major 
task. 

Mr. Dear, I welcome your testimony. 

Mr. Dear. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I am pleased to appear before the subcommittee today to discuss 
the mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
and to describe the innovations that we are implementing to im- 
prove the efficiency and effectiveness of OSHA. 

Mr. Chairman, I applaud your longstanding concern for OSHA 
and for worker health and safety. The tragedy at Bridgeport at 
L'Ambiance Plaza is with us every day at OSHA and reminds us 
of the importance of improving our operations, so we can protect 
the health and safety of more workers. 

Mr. Lantos, I am also familiar with your work and became famil- 
iar with it well before I ever thought I might be in Washington, 
DC, with the opportunity and the responsibility of administering 
OSHA. 

The problem that OSHA is intended to address, the preventable 
injury, illness, £ind death in America's workplace, imposes a stag- 
gering human and economic toll.. According to the National Safety 
Counsel, the cost of preventable accidents alone exceeds $112 bil- 
lion to the economy. We don't have an accurate figure for losses as- 
sociated with preventable illness, and the human side of that equa- 
tion is incalculable, but huge and lasting on workers and their fam- 
ilies. 

OSHA's mission is to assure, so far as possible, every working 
man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful employment. 
That mission is just as important today as it was almost 25 years 
ago when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was approved by 
the Congress, but because the mission is the same and as impor- 
tant does not mean we have to conduct our business in the same 



12 

way. We can learn from 25 years of experience how to improve the 
effectiveness of OSHA's operation. 

What I would like to do in summarizing my remarks is to de- 
scribe the reinvention initiatives of OSHA and how they are in- 
tended to accomplish improved results for workers, for employers, 
with our admittedly scarce resources. 

Why reinvent OSHA? Well, the first reason, as both Mr. Chair- 
man and Mr. Lantos have noted, is that there is an enormous gap 
between the resources that OSHA is provided, $312 million in the 
last fiscal year and 2,300 people at the Federal level, and the work 
force and workplaces we are supposed to cover. The chart that is 
illustrated shows that gap. It is growing. OSHA hasn't changed in 
its staffing level for the past decade. Yet, the work force with rights 
under the Occupational Safety and HesJth Act continues to grow. 

The first impetus behind the reinvention of OSHA is to close the 
gap with reinvention initiatives. 

A second impetus is that neither business nor labor expresses a 
great deal of satisfaction with OSHA's performance. 

As Mr. Lantos noted, OSHA has a lot to be proud of in terms of 
the reduction of fatalities which have occurred, and every day, mil- 
lions of working men and women are protected by OSHA's stand- 
ards as they work. 

OSHA stsmdards in cotton dust have helped eliminate, virtually 
eliminate, the presence of brown lung, byssinosis, in the textile in- 
dustry. The grain handling standard has helped reduce fatalities by 
over 40 percent in the grain handling industry. Even a relatively 
mundane hazard like trenching where OSHA updated its standard 
in 1990 has seen a 30-plus-percent decrease in trenching fatalities. 
These standards make a difference every day. OSHA's enforcement 
programs also make a difference. 

This chart illustrates that OSHA has concentrated the majority 
of its enforcement attention and its compliance inspections in three 
industries: manufacturing, construction, and oil and gas extraction. 
They are shown in red. The injury and illness rates are illustrated 
there. 

Almost 85 percent of OSHA's compliance inspections between 
1975 and 1993 were conducted in those three industries. The or- 
ange bars illustrate that injury and illness rates in those industries 
declined. 

On the other hand, where just over 15 percent of OSHA's compli- 
ance activity was focussed in wholesale, retail, agricultural, trans- 
portation, and health care, injury and illness rates have all gone 
up during that same 1975 to 1993 time period. It tells us where 
we focus our enforcement energies, we can have an impact on 
worker health and safety, but we do have to target our limited re- 
source. We have to decide where we are going to aim it. 

I will go to the next chart. 

The question is how can we target those limited enforcement re- 
sources, so they can have the maximum impact, but also find other 
ways to leverage employers to get them to operate workplaces in 
a healthy and safe manner? 

OSHA's reinvention is built around three strategies described in 
the report issued by President Clinton and Vice President CJore in 
May 1995 entitled "Reinventing Worker Health and Safety." 



13 

The three strategies are these. First, offer employers a choice be- 
tween partnership or traditional enforcement. Second, use common 
sense in developing regulations and enforcing them. Third, focus 
OSHA on results, not red tape. 

Let me describe for each of these strategic initiatives what we 
are doing now. In the area of partnership or traditional enforce- 
ment, in the State of Maine, we identified employers who had a 
high number of worker's compensation claims, some 200 Maine em- 
ployers. 

We wrote them and said, "You are on our list. Clearly, you have 
workplace health and safety problems. We will target you for a 
compliance inspection. However, if you develop a safety and health 
program and implement it, we will move you to a secondary 
targeting list." Not surprisingly, most of the employers who re- 
ceived that letter opted for the development of a safety and health 
program. 

The impact of this program is illustrated in the chart before you 
now. It shows on the left-hand side that OSHA, through traditional 
enforcement means, going out and physically inspecting these 
workplaces that were on our targeted list, would have found about 
13,000 serious hazards. The participating companies in the Maine 
200 program found 181,000 serious hazards and are working to 
abate them. 

I am not suggesting that every single one of those hazards would 
not have been found otherwise, but I think this chart illustrates 
the leverage that was possible because we offered these employers 
a choice, and they opted for the partnership route. 

I have had a chance to visit with companies who participated in 
the Maine 200 program, and they talk about the reduction in in- 
jury and illness, the improvement in labor management relations, 
and the improved relationship they have with OSHA as a result of 
this program. 

One employer told me that her responsibility included insurance 
purchases and worker health and safety, and the last thing she 
would consider doing to get help with the health and safety prob- 
lem was to call OSHA, but because of the Maine 200 program, she 
had the opportunity to discuss problems, to get suggestions and ad- 
vice about how to fix them, and now she said, "I call the office so 
much, they recognize my voice when I ask for one of the staff." 

So Maine 200 is one illustration of how we can leverage the will- 
ingness of employers to participate and develop partnerships. The 
President has asked OSHA to nationalize this Maine 200 concept 
and to expand it to every State. 

Another example of partnership is the voluntary protection pro- 
grams. These represent the highest level of partnership between 
OSHA employers and workers. Voluntary Protection Program 
[VPP] sites have demonstrated sustained excellence in safety and 
health. As a group, they have injury and illness rates that are 60 
percent below their industry peers. It is not an easy program to get 
in, and it is a program that requires work to stay in. Participation 
in this program has about doubled during my time at the Occupa- 
tional Safety and Health Administration. There are now 231 sites 
that participate in VPP programs, and some of our State plan part- 
ners are beginning to open their States up to VPP, so the compa- 



14 

nies with national operations can have VPP sites all around the 
country, but these represent the very best models of excellence that 
can be used to show what is possible in safety and health. 

The other side of the partnership is enforcement. I want to un- 
derscore that as OSHA seeks to develop partnerships with employ- 
ers, to take advantage of the interest, be it economic or enlightened 
human resource management that many employers have for safety 
and health, it is utterly essential that there be a credible enforce- 
ment program. 

For some employers who choose traditional enforcement, the only 
way to get the message is through a credible enforcement program. 

In the past year, we have increased the number of what we call 
significant penalty cases substantially. We define those as penalty 
cases with citations exceeding $100,000. You can see that in fiscal 
1992, there were 57 such cases, 61 in 1993, 68 in 1994, and 122 
in 1995. This includes 17 egregious cases. "Egregious" is our term 
for those situations that involve such violation of health and safety 
that we multiply the violations times the number of workers ex- 
posed to the hazard. There were 17 such cases in fiscal 1995. So 
effective credible enforcement is part of this reinvention of OSHA. 
Where it is appropriate, we need to use that. 

Mr. Lantos. Mr. Chairman, may I ask the witness to tell us 
what was the most egregious case? 

Mr. Dear. I can think of several. One that most recently oc- 
curred was at a sheet metal firm in Philadelphia called Southwark. 
It had about 300 employees at the site. 

We took videotapes of the setting there. There were virtually no 
machine guards. About four finger amputations had occurred to the 
workers at that plant over a relatively short period. 

The impression I was left in viewing those tapes was that I was 
looking at a workplace out of the 1890's, not the 1990's, and we set- 
tled with the company. They paid a very large penalty, $1 million, 
but the company decided that rather than to contest the citations, 
they would agree to abatement of the hazards, and we now have 
the attention of that company's ownership. They are working to 
solve the problems. We have resolved the contest around the cases. 

The workers at that plant were primarily non-English-speaking 
immigrants. They weren't aware necessarily of their rights to a 
safe and healthful workplace. OSHA arrived there because of a pro- 
grammed or random inspection. If we didn't have the capacity to 
do that kind of inspection, OSHA never would have showed up in 
that workplace, and the conditions which I found so appalling 
would still exist today. 

Mr. Lantos. Can you give us another one? 

Mr. Dear. There was another medium-sized company in New 
Jersey named Omega Plastics. This case is still in contest; that is, 
it has not been completely resolved. 

In this situation, the employer purchased equipment from out of 
State, brought it to New Jersey and installed it, and left off all the 
machine guards. This is a company that made plastic parts. Again, 
we saw a number of amputations of fingers of workers, and not- 
withstanding those injuries, the machine guards were left off the 
equipment, even though injuries were actually occurring at that 
workplace. 



15 

That case had a penalty of $1.4 million, and as I say, it is still 
in contest. 

Mr. Lantos. Thank you. 

Mr. Dear. I would be happy to supply the committee with a list 
of all the egregious cases for the past fiscal year. 

Mr. Shays. I think that would be very helpful. 

If you would just continue. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



16 



Attached is a list of all egregious cases that were handled in 
Fiscal Year 1995. An egregious case is an enforcement action 
where large numbers of serioiis or willful violations are found. 
OSHA then proposes penalties on an instance-by- instance basis 
instead of groining similar violations together. 



17 





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19 



Disposition: 
as of 09/11/95 


Contested 


simultaneous 

Settlement 

Agreement 

reached 

12/13/94 


Settlement 
Agreement 
reached 
01/12/95 


a 

1 

9 a 
a -p 
a a 

HO 


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m 

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a\ 
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Initial/ 

Pinal 

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O 

o 
If) 

pa 

in 

I" 


Initial t 
$ 1,800,000 

Final t 

$ 1,800,000 


Initials 

$ 314^200 

Final: 

$ 100,000 


Type of Inspection t 
Major Violations 


Type - Referral 

violations - Ijead In 
construction 
(1926.62) and fall 
protection 


Type -LEP for 
American Samoa 

Violations - Noise, 
lockout/ tagout , 
machine guarding 


Typo - Referral 

Violations - 

Trenching 
(1926.652(a) (1) 


Company Heme 


Manganas Painting 

Company, Inc. 

Canonsburg, 

Pennsylvania 

(Region S) 

#103378006 

E133 

Painting oontraotor - 

BIG X721 


Star-Klst Samoa, Inc. 
Tutuila Island Pago 
Pago, American Samoa 
( Region 9) 
#109510594 
E134 

Tuna prooassing and 
oan Bfg. - SIC 1691 


Barnard Construction 

Company, Inc. 

Pompton Plains, New 

Jersey 

(Region 2) 

#2100477 

E135 

Utility 
oonstruotlon - 
SIC 1623 



20 



in 

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Type - Referral 

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9 

s 

» 

1 


Henry Gurtzweiler, 
Inc. 

Toledo, Ohio 
(Region 5) 

#121976021 
E136 

Steel erection 
contractor - SIC 1791 


Tewksbury Auto Parts, 
Inc. 

Tewksbury, 
Massachusetts 
(Region 1) 
#109627174 
E137 

Metal Scrap prooesser 
- SIC 5093 


Tube Products 
Troy, Ohio 
(Region 5) 

#103378667 
E138 

M£g. motor vehicle 
exbaust system 
components - SIC 3714 



21 



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24 

Mr. Dear. Thank you. 

The next initiative that is part of OSHA's reinvention is bringing 
common sense to development of regulation, to the enforcement of 
regulation. These may seem like blindingly obvious changes, but 
they are important and they are making a (fifference. 

In the development of regulations, the idea is to negotiate, not 
dictate regulations, to bring those affected by the standard on the 
labor side, the business side, safety and health professionals, medi- 
cal health professionals, into the standard-setting process early. 

We are doing that in the construction industry with a negotiated 
rulemaking around the steel erection standard. This is a formal ne- 
gotiation under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act, and I hope that 
that Negotiated Rulemaking Committee will report a consensus 
proposal this fall which I said we will then publish for public hear- 
ing and comment. 

The largest killer of construction workers in the country is falls, 
and in the steel erection industry, that is a major hazard. Here we 
have the industry, labor, architects, engineers working with OSHA 
standards writers to develop a standard. 

I know even if we fail to reach consensus, we will have a better 
standard because it will be written with the practical experience of 
those who work in the industry and will have to live with it. 

We have done other less formal approaches to rulemaking. We 
invited industry and labor in to help us look at ways of simplifying 
recordkeeping, to reduce the paperwork burden associated with 
keeping statistics on injury and illness, but at the same time im- 
proving the accuracy of those statistics which are fundamental to 
assessing the impact of OSHA and evaluating our programs, and 
I hope to be publishing that standard for public comment this fall. 

We are working right now with industry and labor to develop a 
safety and health management program standard. They are meet- 
ing today in Washington, DC, here, to talk about how we can move 
forward to develop a safety and health program standard. 

We have also looked at our existing regulations. There are some 
3,000 pages of OSHA regulations in the Code of Federal Regula- 
tion. At the President's request, we went over those page by page. 
We have identified 1,000 pages of duplicate standards that we can 
take out. We will still be able to provide information to construc- 
tion and maritime employers, but we won't need a lot of duplicate 
pages to do that. 

We have looked at 600 pages of standards which were adopted 
without public hearing in 1971 under the original authority of the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act to adopt consensus standards 
without public hearing. These standards are often the source of 
much of the complaint about confusing or difficult-to-understand 
regulations. 

We are going to rewrite those. There are, as I said, 600 pages 
of them. To give you one illustration of the potential here, one of 
those standards talks about egress. It goes on for 7 or 8 pages to 
describe what adequate egress is from a facility. This is a term 
dear to the hearts of safety professionals, but "escape route" might 
be a pretty good term for employers or workers to talk about what 
to do, and in rewriting this standard into plain English, we have 
discovered we can make it 40-percent shorter. 



25 

It will take us quite a while to do all 600 pages, but we will be 
publishing that proposed standard soon, and our plan of this year 
is to do three more. If we have the resources, we will accelerate 
that effort, but using common sense, we will try to put the stand- 
ard into plain language, so that it is easy for non-experts to under- 
stand. 

The other side of the common sense initiative is how we enforce 
standards. The chart I am showing now illustrates the number of 
times OSHA cited employers for violations of the poster require- 
ment. 

Employers are obligated to post a sign that tells workers of their 
rights to a safe and healthful workplace. This is very important in- 
formation. OSHA, in 1991, cited employers 4,319 times and penal- 
ized them for not having the poster up. 

Beginning with this fiscal year, we changed our approach. In- 
stead of not seeing the poster and fining the employer, we have 
said to employers, *Tou need to have the poster up. It is important. 
Here is one. Please post it," and as you can see from the chart, the 
number of poster violations fell to two in the fourth quarter of this 
fiscal year. Those were repeat violations. 

If there are other safety and health problems in those work- 
places, then they can be noted as serious hazards and cited appro- 
priately, but the paperwork or poster violation has fallen from the 
24th most frequently cited OSHA violation to off the chart. 

When I describe OSHA's reinvention initiatives, I often hear peo- 
ple say they sound good. Then they question me about whether or 
not they will actually materialize in the field. 

Working in Washington, DC, we tend to become consumed with 
policy and legislation or regulation, but it is not real unless it hap- 
pens at the workplace. If a compliance officer can't articulate the 
requirement, if the employer can't understand it, if the worker 
doesn't know what the correct procedure is, then we are not going 
to have a healthy and safe workplace. 

The average tenure for someone in my position is 18 months. I 
have just about made 2 years now, but one of the things that peo- 
ple in the organization say is this sounds like the flavor of the 
month, this is the management fad, and as they say about kidney 
stones, this, too, shall pass. 

It is very important for OSHA's reinvention that we think about 
how it will affect our workers at the front line and their interaction 
with employers and workers, and we are devoting considerable at- 
tention to getting results and not the red tape part of our reinven- 
tion effort. 

To do this, we are taking a page from the best-managed Amer- 
ican businesses. We are asking our customers through surveys 
what do you expect, what kind of services do you need, how did we 
do in fulfilling that. We are asking our workers what ideas do you 
have that can improve your effectiveness in the field. We are look- 
ing at taking quality improvement principles, total quality manage- 
ment, and applying them to our own operations to increase the effi- 
ciency of our operation and to create resources to devote to other 
activities. 

We are trying to become data-driven, to look at statistics of in- 
jury and illness, to analyze problems, to find root causes, and to go 



26 

out and work at those root causes rather than being completely re- 
active, responding only when there are complaints, accidents or ca- 
tastrophes. 

We are beginning to see results. We have designed a new pro- 
gram to conduct our day-to-day operations in the field. We have im- 
plemented it in 7 of our 67 offices. We are doing five more this 
quarter, and budget permitting, we will continue to roll out these 
newly designed offices at five per quarter until we are finished, 
sometime in late 1997 or early fiscal 1998. 

Let me give you one illustration of what the practical impact of 
this reinvention in the field is. One of the most important services 
OSHA provides is responding to worker complaints. It is their right 
to complain to us. It also comprises 25 percent of our workload in 
the field, and in some OSHA offices, all they have time to work on 
are complaints from workers. They do not have time and resources 
to do proactive inspections. 

So we asked workers who are involved in that process to sit 
down, chart out the work, identify the value-added steps, identify 
the non-value-added steps, and design a better way of handling 
worker complaints. 

This chart illustrates what our front-line workers were able to 
do. The orange bars show the average time to respond to an infor- 
mal worker complaint. 

Mr. Shays. Let me just interrupt you for a second, just so I un- 
derstand. You are using "worker" in two contexts, your own OSHA 
workers who are responding to workers' complaints out in the field. 

Mr. Dear. Yes. Thank you for the clarification. I will try to make 
that distinction. The worker complaints I refer to are workers in 
private sector employment, typically. 

They will call us. They will say I want to report a problem. In 
the past, OSHA would then say could you put it in writing? If they 
didn't, we would put it in writing. We would mail a letter to the 
employer. The employer would get the letter. If it was a large em- 
ployer, it would go around in the employer's organization a while 
before it got to the desk of somebody who could do something, and 
the consequence — in our Parsippany, NJ, office, for example — ^it 
took 50 days from the time we got a complaint to when we had doc- 
umentation that the hazard was corrected. 

Now if we get a worker complaint and the worker is agreeable, 
we will call the employer the same day we get the complaint. We 
will say we have had a report of a complaint, what do you say? We 
want to secure a verbal commitment from the employer that he will 
check into the complaint and correct it. 

We then fax our description of the complaint to them. We ask 
them to take corrective action and to document, call us back, send 
in a photograph. The Parsippany office can now respond to worker 
complaints in an average of 9 days. 

As the chart illustrates, Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, Kansas 
City, St. Louis, and Wichita have all seen at least 50-percent im- 
provement in the response time, and some of those offices have 
seen 75- and 80-percent improvement in response time. 

This, to me, is some of the best of reinvention. We have gotten 
this idea from our workers. Our customers like it. Workers are 
amazed to see action being taken so promptly after their complaint 



27 

was voiced, and employers have told us that they appreciate the 
opportunity to hear from us, to explain their side of the story, and 
to take corrective action without a physicad inspection. 

We will inspect if a worker insists on that. That is a legal duty 
we have, and we will do that, but many times what workers want 
is the hazard corrected, and this is a way of doing it much more 
quickly. Because there is much less paper foUowup, it frees up re- 
sources in our office, so that we can devote our time and attention 
to problem-solving approaches, the root cause analysis. 

Mr. Shays. When I gave you your invitation to not feel inhibited 
by any limit, there were only two Members here, and I might say 
that we have been joined by Mr. Green from Texas, Mr. Souder 
from Indiana, Mr. Martini from New Jersey, Mrs. Morella from 
Maryland, and Mr. Scarborough from Florida. You will probably 
have the opportunity to talk a lot more by responding to our ques- 
tions. So I am going to encourage you to come to a conclusion pret- 
ty soon. 

Do you have much more? 

Mr. Dear. Just one basic observation. 

Mr. Shays. Sure. 

Mr. Dear. I came to Washington believing that there is an enor- 
mous potential for common ground between employers and workers 
around the issue of workplace safety and health; that health and 
safe workplaces are self-evidently good for workers. It respects 
their fundamental human dignity in a profound way, but it is also 
good for employers because healthy and safe employers are profit- 
able and competitive employers. That is what the reinvention of 
OSHA is about. 

Again, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to join with 
the committee today. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Dear follows:] 



28 



STATEMENT OF JOSEPH A. DEAR 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR 

FOR OCCOPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

OCTOBER 17, 1995 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee; 

I am pleased to appear before the Subcommittee today to 
review the mission of the Occupational safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) and to discuss the many innovative programs 
the agency has developed to improve workplace protections for 
America's working men and women. Mr. Chairman, I applaud your 
longstanding concern for OSHA and for the American worker. The 
memorial in Bridgeport to those workers killed at L' Ambiance 
Plaza is a constant reminder to me and to OSHA's staff that we 
must improve our efforts to protect America's workers. 

As you know, OSHA has received considerable criticism in the 
104th Congress. Some have proposed to eliminate the agency. 
Others have proposed to slash OSHA's budget and trim our 
enforcement and regulatory powers to an extent that would greatly 
diminish our efforts to protect workers. In addition, there have 
been many misrepresentations of the agency's activities, from 
stories about OSHA banning the tooth fairy to the portrayal of 



29 



OSHA as an agency bent on collecting fines for its own benefit. 
Mr. Chairman, I welcome this opportunity to set the record 
straight concerning our mission and to describe our efforts to 
reinvent OSHA. 

Let me begin with the agency's mission and the continuing 
need for OSHA in today's workplace. 

OSHA'S Mission 

OSHA's mission, mandated by the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970, is "to assure so far as possible every 
working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working 
conditions..." This is a huge responsibility. There are over 6 
million worksites in the United States under OSHA's jurisdiction, 
employing almost 100 million workers. Accomplishing this mission 
is extremely challenging in the context of the resources 
available to the agency. As you can see from the attached chart 
(#1) , there is a growing gap between the resources available to 
OSHA and the size of the workforce it must protect. Counting 
State plan personnel, OSHA has a total of about 2,000 inspectors 
available to monitor workplaces and provide technical assistance 
to employers. 

In spite of limited resources, OSHA has improved the lives 
of America's workers. Since its creation in 1970, the workplace 



40-117 97-2 



30 



fatality rate has declined 57 percent. Standards issued and 
enforced by the agency have made a real difference for millions 
of working people. 

OSHA's cotton dust standard has virtually eliminated brown 
lung disease, which used to plague workers in the textile 
industry. The lead standard has reduced poisoning of workers in 
smelting plants and battery plants by two-thirds. In five years 
the grain dust standard reduced fatalities in grain elevators by 
58 percent and reduced related injuries by more than 40 percent. 
OSHA's trenching standard has helped reduce trenching fatalities 
by 35 percent since 1990. 

In areas where OSHA has concentrated its enforcement 
attention, such as manufacturing, construction, and oil and gas 
extraction, we have found that between 1975 and 1993 injury and 
illness rates have declined significantly (Chart #2). In 
industries that received less enforcement attention, such as 
wholesale trade, retail trade, and the service industry 
(including health care), the rates went up. 

I am proud of OSHA's record. It is a story that needs to be 
told. At the same time, we still have along way to go. Every 
year work-related accidents and illnesses cost an estimated 
56,000 lives. That is more than we lost in battle during the 
entire nine-year Vietnam War. On a average day 18 workers will 



31 



be killed in safety accidents and an estimated 137 more will die 
from occupational disease. Both the human and economic toll are 
staggering. Accidents alone cost the economy over $112 billion a 
year . 

In the face of the reality of limited resources, it was 
clear to me when I came to OSHA that the agency had to change its 
basic way of doing business if it were to continue making 
progress in the fight to improve worker safety and health. I 
would now like to discuss the key changes that have been made in 
the way OSHA operates. 

The New OSHA 

Many employers have complained that OSHA cares less about 
worker protection than about meeting perceived "quotas" for 
citations and penalties. While OSHA has never used quotas, it 
has in the past used inspections, citations and penalties as 
performance measures. The New OSHA's performance will now be 
measured by results — by the impact we are having on reduction of 
injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. We are 
beginning to measure such things as the percent of programmed 
inspections that find significant hazards as interim measures of 
success. Ultimately we are developing programs that will allow 
us to measure the success we've had at reducing injury, death and 
illness at both the sites we visit and the industry level in 



32 



general . 

On May 16 President Clinton announced three sets of 
regulatory reform initiatives for OSHA that the agency had been 
working on since 1993. These initiatives will fundamentally 
change the way we do business. First, OSHA will alter its basic 
operating method from one of command and control to one that 
offers employers a real choice between partnership and 
traditional enforcement. Second, OSHA will change its approach 
to regulations by identifying clear and sensible priorities, 
focusing on key building block rules, eliminating or fixing 
outdated and confusing standards and emphasizing interaction with 
business and labor in the development of rules. Finally, OSHA 
will alter the way it works on a day-to-day basis by focusing on 
the most serious hazards and the most dangerous workplaces 
instead of worrying about technical violations. We will insist 
on results instead of red tape. I will now describe some of the 
specific changes we have made to implement these initiatives. 



Maine 200 — A Partnership that Works 

OSHA recognizes that most employers are interested in 
protecting their employees. Those who choose to work with their 
employees and with OSHA in reducing injuries and illnesses will 
find OSHA to be a willing partner. For example, in 1993 OSHA 



33 



instituted a program in the state of Maine in which the 200 
companies with the highest number of injuries were offered a 
choice: work in partnership to improve safety or face stepped-up 
enforcement. All but two firms chose partnership. Those firms 
opting to work with OSHA received assistance in developing strong 
safety and health programs, which include a self-inspection 
component to find and fix hazards. At the same time they were 
given the lowest priority for inspection, usually only being 
inspected if there were complaints from employees about serious 
hazards. In two years these employers have self-identified more 
than 14 times as many hazards as would have been expected to be 
cited by OSHA inspectors (Chart #3) . Nearly six out of ten 
employers in the program have already reduced their injury and 
illness rates. Those employers that chose not to enter into a 
partnership with OSHA were given a traditional enforcement 
inspection. 

The Maine 200 project demonstrates that OSHA can leverage 
limited resources to achieve worker protection by shifting 
responsibility back to the employers and employees at the 
worksite. OSHA has expanded the concept into New Hampshire and 
Wisconsin and will be instituting it in every state this fiscal 
year. The Maine 200 project has been recognized by the Ford 
Foundation. OSHA is a finalist for an "Innovations in American 
Government" award. This is the first time government 
organizations at the Federal level are being considered for this 



34 



prestigious award. 



Focused Inspections in Construction 

Construction is one of the most hazardous industries in 
America. I know that this industry has been of particular 
concern to you, Mr. Chairman. OSHA believes that the key to a 
safe construction worksite is the establishment of an effective 
safety and health program by the controlling employer covering 
all worksite conditions. In order to encourage the establishment 
of such programs and to focus OSHA's limited resources 
effectively, OSHA launched in October 1994 its Focused Inspection 
Initiative in construction. Our compliance officers now conduct 
a review of the controlling contractor's safety and health 
program. If the employer has a program that meets OSHA's 
requirements, with an individual responsible for implementation, 
the inspection concentrates on the four leading construction 
dangers — falls, electrocution, crushing injuries such as 
trenching cave-ins, and being struck by material or equipment, 
and does not address the myriad of other OSHA regulations that a 
general inspection would encompass. These four hazards cause 90% 
of all deaths in the construction sector. If there is no 
satisfactory program, a comprehensive inspection is conducted. 
Focused inspections allow OSHA to concentrate on the real dangers 
in this industry while encouraging employers to establish 



35 



comprehensive programs at their worksites. They allow OSHA to 
reach more construction worksites. 



Revised Penalty Policy 

OSHA's penalty system provides an incentive for employers to 
engage in proper safety and health activity. In recognition of 
the fact that the amount of penalty necessary to create such an 
incentive is smaller for smaller firms than for large ones, OSHA 
will increase the possible reduction in penalties which the OSH 
Act allows based on employer size. Soon penalty reductions of up 
to 80% may be given in certain circumstances to employers based 
upon the size of the establishment, with the smallest employers 
receiving the largest reductions. 

Consistent with OSHA's belief that effective safety and 
health programs have a positive impact, penalty reductions for 
employers demonstrating "good faith," based upon the quality of 
their safety and health programs, will also be increased from the 
current 25% maximum. OSHA will be looking for programs that 
include management leadership, employee participation, workplace 
analysis, and hazard prevention. 

OSHA's new focus on serious hazards rather than technical 



36 



violations is illustrated by the dramatic reduction in minor 
paperwork violations in recent years, as shown in Chart /4. In 
FY 1991 OSHA issued more than 4300 citations to employers for 
failing to have an OSHA poster in the workplace. In the fourth 
quarter of FY 1995 OSHA issued two such citations. If an 
employer does not have the poster required by OSHA hanging in his 
shop the compliance officer will hand him the poster instead of 
handing out a fine. If there are no injuries or illnesses to 
record, OSHA no longer cites an employer for failing to complete 
recordkeeping. OSHA's compliance officers no longer cite for 
minor paperwork requirements; they advise and educate the 
employer instead. 

On the other hand OSHA remains committed to strong 
enforcement measures for those employers who are not making an 
effort to protect their workers. In workplaces where OSHA still 
finds willful, serious, and repeat violations employers will 
continue to be penalized. Chart #5 shows that the number of 
inspections with initial penalties of $100,000 or more has 
increased by 79 percent from FY 1994 to FY 1995. 

Reinventing Area Offices 

In order to change the way OSHA operates it is essential 
that reform begin with OSHA's front-line workers who deal with 
the regulated community on a regular basis. OSHA has been in the 



37 



forefront of the Clinton Administration's reinvention efforts. 
We began by developing a model office and pilot testing it in 
seven area offices. OSHA is using a Rollout Team, composed of 
internal union and management representatives, to bring to each 
office the improvements that have been piloted. Our goal is to 
redesign federal enforcement by FY 1997, 

OSHA's Field Office Redesign Effort will change every aspect 
of our offices' operations. The basic philosophy underlying this 
effort is that OSHA's staff has the responsibility to reduce 
injuries, illness and deaths rather than simply enforce 
regulations. We will use Strategic Intervention Teams to 
identify the leading causes of workplace problems within a given 
area and then use a variety of techniques — enforcement 
inspections, investigations, education — to solve the problem. In 
Atlanta a Strategic Intervention Team formed a partnership with 
the Horizon Steel Company. In return for technical assistance at 
one site. Horizon Steel agreed to implement a fall protection 
program with front-line accountability throughout the company. 
Horizon Steel saw a reduction of 96 percent in its accident costs 
per man hour and three lives were saved as a result of using fall 
protection techniques at three different sites never visited by 
OSHA. 

When OSHA's office in Parsippany, New Jersey, became aware 
of an increasing number of lead poisoning cases among bridge 

10 



38 



workers, the office formed a partnership with New Jersey's 
Department of Health and Transportation. Together they developed 
strategies for protecting these workers from increased blood lead 
levels, which are an indication of lead poisoning. OSHA's office 
used enforcement, implemented a comprehensive medical 
surveillance program, and developed a lead safety plan for each 
worksite where lead exposure occurred. OSHA and the New Jersey 
Health Department sponsored training sessions for employers and 
employees before they started working on a bridge or renovation 
project. OSHA described to the contractors the OSHA-funded on- 
site consultation program available in New Jersey which provides 
free advice on ways to identify and eliminate workplace hazards. 
If an employer, having been informed of his responsibilities and 
the assistance available, chose not to comply, OSHA initiated 
strong enforcement action. 

' As a result of this intensive effort, the mean blood level 
among affected bridge workers dropped 25 percent between 1991 and 
1994. The percentage of employees who had blood levels higher 
than 50 ug/dl dropped from 24 percent in 1991, to 2 percent In 
1994. OSHA and the State of New Jersey, working with employers 
and employees, made major advances in protecting bridge workers 
from the hazards of lead. 

Another result of our efforts to reinvent the way OSHA's 
Area Offices do business is the reduction in the time it takes to 



11 



39 



get a hazard abated as a result of a complaint from a worker 
about safety and health. OSHA's offices in Cleveland and Peoria 
piloted .a project to reduce the time period from when a complaint 
arrives in the office to when the hazard is corrected. They 
began responding to complaints over the telephone and by fax. 
Employers may respond by phone and fax in describing how the 
workplace danger was eliminated. It used to take almost fifty 
days for the Cleveland office to achieve hazard abatement. Now 
the time to abatement is 10 days. Peoria has cut its abatement 
time from 35 days to 8 (Chart #6) . This more efficient approach 
to handling formal and nonformal complaints will be used by all 
OSHA Area offices. 

OSHA is streamlining other procedures to serve the public 
better. In the past it sometimes took many weeks or months to 
receive a response to a request under the Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA) . Several offices are experimenting with new ways to 
answer FOIA requests and reduce the time required for a response. 
The Atlanta Area office has reduced the time for completing a 
FOIA request from 60 days to 4.5 days — a dramatic increase in 
service. Other offices are working to achieve the same kind of 
improvement . 

OSHA's field offices are also becoming more efficient by 
changing procedures, making better use of computers and video 
cameras and forming partnerships with the private sector. 

12 



40 



standards Initiatives 

OSHA's history of setting standards priorities has been 
haphazard. Priorities constantly shifted, it took many years to 
issue a regulation, and much of the regulated public was 
frustrated with both the process and the outcome. A new approach 
was essential if OSHA was to address the many serious unregulated 
hazards in the workplace. We have instituted a new five-point 
regulatory strategy to identify priority issues, focus on key 
building block rules, eliminate or fix confusing and out-of-date 
regulations, emphasize plain language and use cooperative 
partnerships. Under our Priority Planning Process a committee 
composed of members from OSHA, DOL, NIOSH, EPA, and MSHA actively 
solicited input from stakeholders and the public beginning in 
August 1994 . More than 100 stakeholders submitted written 
comments to the committee and nearly 200 representatives of 
labor, industry, professional and academic organizations. State 
plans, voluntary standards organizations and the public 
participated. NIOSH in particular played a key role providing 
technical assistance throughout the process and in the final 
selection of the priorities. 

The Agency will soon announce the results of the Priority 
Planning Process, which will identify the most pressing workplace 
safety and health hazards in need of either regulatory or non- 
regulatory action. Identifying priorities will ensure that the 

13 



41 



leading causes of death, injury, and illness in the workplace are 
addressed first. To arrive at the priorities, the Committee 
applied a set of decision criteria to a list of 125 hazards 
nominated by stakeholders and agency staff. A group of 
approximately 20 issues, which affect millions of workingmen and 
women, were designated as priorities. Of these, a small number 
have been chosen for rulemaking and will be added to the 
regulatory calendar as other standards are completed. OSHA will 
work with industry, labor, the States and the safety and health 
community to find non-regulatory ways, such as information, 
education, and voluntary compliance, to address the remaining 
hazards. We now have a more rational process for addressing the 
most pressing safety and health needs of this nation than that 
used in the past. 

In response to a directive from the President to review its 
rules and identify those in need of revision, OSHA has analyzed 
3,200 pages of its Code of Federal Regulations. The Agency plans 
to "reinvent" 39 percent of these pages and eliminate 32 percent 
more. For instance, we will consolidate separate training, 
records maintenance, monitoring and medical surveillance 
provisions that were written at different times throughout the 
agency's history. OSHA will remedy the problem caused by 
regulations that were adopted in 1971 but have become outdated. 
Most of these regulations were originally written in technical or 
engineering text that was difficult for the layman to understand. 

14 



42 



By the end of 1996 OSHA will re-write more than 500 pages in an 
easier- to-read format. 

One of the standards of most concern to employers, 
particularly those with small businesses, is the Hazard 
Communication rule. Yet this regulation is vital because workers 
must be aware of the dangers they face from toxic substances in 
the workplace. We have requested that the National Advisory 
Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, which is composed of 
representatives from industry, labor, the States, and academia, 
identify ways to improve the standard. Our goal is to focus on 
the most serious hazards, simplify the Material Safety Data 
Sheets which have been the source of numerous complaints about 
complexity, and reduce the amount of paperwork required by the 
Hazard Communication Standard. The work group will begin its 
meetings, which are open to the public, on October 19. 

OSHA has implemented a number of projects to make 
information about the agency's regulations more easily available. 
In 1992 OSHA introduced the OSHA CD-ROM, which provides in one 
format all of OSHA's regulations and interpretations, its Field 
Inspection Reference Manual, decisions of the Occupational Safety 
and Health Review Commission and much more information. This is 
now the Government Printing Office's best selling CD-ROM. We are 
encouraging public participation in standards development by 
routinely disseminating the text of proposed and final standards 

15 • 



43 



through the OSHA CD-ROM and the Department of Labor's Electronic 
Bulletin Board. To provide special assistance for small 
businesses, OSHA is working with the National Performance Review 
to provide electronic access to regulatory information and 
services through the Internet. 

voluntary Protection Programs 

One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud since I 

came to OSHA is the expansion of the Voluntary Protection 

Programs (VPP) (Chart #7) . The prototype for VPP was a project 

developed by the Bechtel Corporation and the State of California 

in 1979-80 — just the kind of innovative state effort that this 

Subcommittee has expressed interest in. Last month the Vice 

President characterized the VPP as: 

fine examples of what Reinvented Government is all about. 
It is about working in partnership with common goals instead 
of as adversaries — partnership between government and 
business — between labor and management. 

Companies participating in the VPP must undergo a rigorous, 
week-long evaluation by OSHA and periodic monitoring. They 
exceed OSHA's reguirements and actively involve their employees 
in safety and health. In FY 1994 the number of lost workday 
injuries suffered by employees at the VPP sites was 49 percent 
lower than the average for their industry. 

Currently there are 231 sites participating in the VPP, 

16 



44 



almost double the number of participating sites when I came to 
the Agency. Together these sites provide quality safety and 
health protection to approximately 167,000 workers. Other 
outreach activities, such as speeches by VPP participants at 
conferences and training events, have reached 100,000 more 
employees. Through the Voluntary Protection Progreuns 
Participants Association (VPPPA) , a private organization, VPP 
participants actually mentor other companies, reaching another 
71,000 workers by providing models and advice on safety and 
health. Thus, through VPP and the VPPPA 338,000 workers receive 
improved safety and health protection. This is an extremely 
effective way of leveraging our resources. The VPP has received 
the Vice-President's Hammer award, signifying that it is a 
leading example of government reinvention. 

Compliance Assistance 

OSHA spends a sizable portion of its budget, almost $45 
million in FY 1995, on compliance assistance progreuns for 
employers and employees. Some of these programs are especially 
designed to ensure that small business employers luiderstand our 
rules and how to comply with them. For instance, OSHA's 
consultation program, administered by the States, is a free 
service available to employers to help them identify potential 
hazards at their worksite, improve their safety management 
systems, and qualify for one-year exemptions from routine OSHA 

17 



45 



inspections. The ptrogriun is targeted toward small businesses in 
hazardous industries. It is completely separate from the 
enforcement program and participants cannot be cited during the 
consultation visit. In the last five years OSHA has helped over 
100,000 small and medium-sized businesses identify and correct 
over 800,000 hazards. 

OSHA's Training Institute, which instructs state and federal 
compliance officers, also provides instruction to the private 
sector. Sixty courses, dealing with subjects such as confined 
spaces, machine guarding, construction operations, and industrial 
hygiene, are open to employers and employees who wish to enroll. 
Some courses include simulated workplace environments with hands- 
on instruction in hazard recognition and control. Requests from 
the private sector for instruction have increased so rapidly that 
OSHA began offering its curriculum in community colleges and 
research centers throughout the country. There are now a dozen 
private educational institutions which conduct safety and health 
training. 

State Plan Innovations 

The Subcommittee has expressed interest in the relationship 
between OSHA and its state plans. The 25 States and territories 
which operate their own programs are an integral part of our 
effort to protect the American workforce. Approximately 40 

18 



46 



percent of all employers are covered by the States rather than 
federal OSHA. We do not expect the States to be identical to 
federal OSHA, but we do expect them to be at least as effective 
in protecting the workers in their jurisdictions. As a former 
State plan administrator I know the particular strengths which 
the States bring to this program, such as knowledge of the 
industries and workforce in their jurisdictions and flexibility 
to innovate and do things in a way different from the Federal 
Government . 

We have tried to encourage the states to experiment with new 
ways to prevent injuries and illnesses. Working closely with the 
Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association, OSHA is 
developing performance agreements that would define goals and 
performance measures for state activities that differ from 
federal practices. Instead of monitoring the states by comparing 
federal and state activities, OSHA will assess results in each 
state. Since federal OSHA is redesigning its program, we should 
not stand in the way of States that want to do the same. We 
should also not expect the states to adopt every innovation 
developed in Washington. Many states will go beyond our 
reinvention efforts and others will find alternatives. Our only 
requirement is that the alternatives be in conformance with the 
State's basic statutory responsibility. 

For instance, we would not allow a State to eliminate 

19 



47 



enforcement, but we would allow experiments such as that 
undertaken by the Washington State Department of Labor and 
Industries. Under an agreement between the Department and crane 
contractors in the State, a crane safety association will dev<«Jcp 
standards for the industry using penalties collected from 
inspections of their members. The association is open to crane 
companies, labor unions, and manufacturers. 

Other examples of innovative efforts by the States include: 

— The Virginia OSHA program initiated the "Blue Ridge Safety 
Network" in 1993. It links businesses in a geographical 
area to promote workplace safety through shared expertise 
and resources. There are 182 employers, insurers, health 
care providers, and educational institutions participating 
in the Network's Pilot Program. Larger employers share 
their safety expertise and experience with smaller 
employers. The Network has four subcommittees geared toward 
manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and health car?:. 

— Approximately one-half of the States use establishment- 
specific workers' compensation data for targeting their 
inspections to the most dangerous worksites. They provided 
the model for the Maine 200 program. 

— Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, and other States 



48 



require employers to have safety and health programs. OSHA 
is now working on ways to encourage more employers to 
institute programs and is using programs as an incentive in 
some of the new enforcement policies that I have described. 
In fact, today a group of OSHA's "stakeholders" is meeting 
to discuss ways to make employers more aware of the value of 
safety and health programs. 

— Washington State began a special construction program in 
1989 in response to an increasing number of fatalities in 
that industry. The state formed a Construction Advisory 
Committee of more than two dozen representatives of labor, 
management and the Washington OSHA program. They produced a 
plan to focus the State's inspections on the five most 
hazardous construction operations, as indicated by workers' 
compensation data. In less than three years the 
construction industry in Washington experienced a 19 percent 
decline in compensable claims due to falls from elevation. 



Threats to Further Progress 

I believe that the changes we are instituting in OSHA will 
improve the agency's performance and help assure improvements in 
worker safety and health. All of OSHA's past and future success 
is threatened, however, by two pieces of legislation currently 

21 



49 

before the Congres§. 

The first is the FY 1996 appropriations bill for DOL, HHS, 
and Education, passed by the House in July. The measure would 
cut OSHA's budget by 15.5 percent and slash enforcement programs 
by 33 percent. By slashing OSHA's budget the House would risk 
higher fatality, injury, and illness rates, imposing millions of 
dollars of additional costs on employers in the form of higher 
workers compensation payments, related medical costs, and 
employee turnover. 

In addition, the bill contains language that restricts OSHA 
from taking action on a standard for ergonomics and seeks to 
weaken the agency's rule on fall protection in construction. 

A 33 percent cut in enforcement would decimate the Agency's 
enforcement effort. It would result in a 50 percent reduction in 
inspections and an estimated 50,000 more injuries a year to 
American workers. OSHA's diminished enforcement effort would 
consist of responses to accidents, complaints and referrals with 
virtually no resources available to do proactive inspections of 
high-hazard firms. 

The second bill that would cause irreparable harm is H.R. 
1834, which is being considered in the House Committee on 
Economic and Educational Opportunities. There is a fundamental 

22 



50 



difference between H.R. 1834 and the President's plans for a "New 
OSHA." Both approaches acknowledge that OSHA must find a new way 
of doing business. But the legislation would provide any 
employer — including those who choose to disregard worker safety — 
with exemptions and defenses against OSHA enforcement. In 
contrast, the "New OSHA" treats responsible employers differently 
from neglectful ones, offering incentives and cooperation to the 
former and applying traditional enforcement to the latter. The 
"New OSHA" offers employers a partnership with the agency that 
demonstrates a commitment to safety and health before being 
placed on a low priority inspection list. H.R. 1834 would 
represent a huge step backward from the principle of prevention 
through enforcement: 

— It would prohibit the Agency from issuing first instance 
sanctions unless workers are killed or seriously injured or 
an imminent danger is present. Employers would receive 
only a warning even when they have ignored the most obvious 
hazards. There would be little incentive for employers to 
protect their workers before OSHA gets to their workplace. 
In contrast. The "New OSHA" will continue to issue first 
instance sanctions where workers' safety and health is 
threatened but will adjust penalties for those employers 
demonstrating a sincere effort to improve their workplaces. 



51 



— H.R. 1834 would force workers to notify their employers 
before filing a complaint about unsafe working conditions 
wittv OSHA, even when workers face an imminent danger on the 
job and possible retaliation from their employer. The bill 
would provide a disincentive for reporting hazards. The 
"New OSHA" is improving its response time to employee 
complaints while being more flexible with employers to 
ensure that hazards are abated. 

— The bill would eliminate penalties for violations of the 
"General Duty Clause," thus removing a tool which OSHA has 
used for 25 years to require employers to keep workplaces 
free from hazards even when there is no specific standard. 
The General Duty Clause is a legal recognition of an 
employer's obligation to protect his workers from conditions 
the employer recognizes to be threats to the employees' 
safety and health. Making this provision unenforceable 
would effectively repeal itv If H.R. 1834 had been in 
effect in 1989, OSHA could have issued a penalty of only 
$10,800 after the explosion and fire which killed 23 workers 
at the Phillipps 66 plant in Pasedena, Texas, that year. 
Under its "General Duty" authority OSHA proposed a penalty 
of $5.6 million to an employer that did not live up to its 
obligation to protect its workers from a serious explosion 
hazard. 



24 



52 



— The bill would prevent OSHA from using its egregious 
penalty policy when it finds a significant number of serious 
violations in a single workplace. OSHA's ability to 
pressure "low road" employers, who shirk on workers' safety 
to gain competitive advantage, would be severely 
compromised. If this provision had been in effect in 1987 
OSHA would have been allowed to issue a penalty of only 
$125,000 after the tragic construction collapse at 
L' Ambiance Plaza. Using the egregious penalty procedure 
OSHA issued a proposed penalty of $5.1 million. In addition 
to addressing the specific employer, these penalty levels 
allow OSHA to focus an entire industry on the safety and 
health problems of that industry. 

— H.R. 1834 would exempt from programmed inspections all 
businesses of fewer than 50 employees in certain industries 
regardless of the conditions in the individual workplace. 
The "New OSHA" is improving its inspection targeting methods 
to assure that, where data are available, inspectors go to 
the most dangerous workplaces regardless of the overall 
industry safety and health record. 

These are just a few of the troubling provisions of H.R. 1834. 

Mr. Chairman, there is a right way and a wrong way to reform 
OSHA. Slashing the agency's budget and enacting legislation such 

25 



53 



as H.R. 1834 is the wrong way. These actions would reduce 
protections for American workers and result in increased death 
and injury. Surely this is not what the American public expects 
from its government. I believe that the "New OSHA" is the proper 
way and that the agency is meJcing striking progress down this 
path . 

Our experience in redesigning this Agency with the backing 
of the President and Vice President has proven to me that federal 
agencies, which were once considered impervious to change, can 
undergo a complete alteration of their culture. In this case the 
beneficiaries of change will be the working men and women ot 
America who will receive increased protection from OSHA as well 
as employers who will find that they can work constructively with 
OSHA. 



26 



54 




55 




56 



200,0001 



150,000 



100,000 



50,000 



Violations/Hazards 



I 181.000 




OSHA Maine 200 

Employers 



OSHA - Total number of violations discovered by OSHA inspectltons: 1989 - 1993. 
Maine 200 - Total number of hazards identified by employers: May 1993 - October 1995. 



57 




58 




59 




60 




61 

Mr. Shays. I appreciate you being here, Mr. Secretary. 

This is the mike that ampUfies in the room, and you can even 
lift that other one up a Uttle bit. That is great. 

I am going to give the floor to Mr. Souder to start the questions, 
but let me ask you this. The substantive changes you have talked 
about, we can see the process results in terms of the amount of 
time it is taking your inspectors and you can reorient their time. 
Is it too early to conclude whether there are noticeable differences 
in the workplace in terms of reduced injuries and deaths? Is it too 
early to determine that at this point? 

Mr. Dear. For Maine, we know that reported incidence of injury 
and illness in the 2 years that the program has run has declined. 
Sixty percent of the employers have lower injury and illness rates. 
That program began in early 1993. 

Mr. Shays. You didn't say 6 percent. 

Mr. Dear. It is 60 percent of the employers. 

Mr. Shays. We will probably get into that. That is quite a statis- 
tic. 

Mr. Dear. On the redesigned offices, there is good anecdotal in- 
formation. The first offices implemented the new procedures less 
than a year ago. So there hasn't been enough time to demonstrate 
empirically that the impact we seek is occurring, but all of these 
new programs were designed to measure impact as part of the pro- 
gram. 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. 

Mr. Souder. 

Mr. Souder. First, I wanted to compliment you on reducing the 
number of technical violations in things like the poster violations 
and so on. I have heard repeatedly what a nice guy you are and 
how friendly you are. It doesn't change who you represent in my 
eyes, but I want to compliment you personally and say that we all 
respect that you are trying to do the best you can regardless of how 
we may agree or not agree. 

You raised concerns about Congressman Ballenger's bill. I want- 
ed to know, do you still support Senator Kennedy's bill in the Sen- 
ate? Is that what OSHA would still support at this point? 

Mr. Dear. That bill is not before the Congress. We did support 
it when it was introduced in the 103d Congress. I think there were 
very important elements in that bill, providing a real voice for 
worker participation in statute, addressing some problems with in- 
adequate standards that could be remedied, addressing the lack of 
coverage for State and local employees in 29 Federal enforcement 
States, and a variety of issues like that. 

What I had hoped would have happened in the 103d Congress, 
and what I hope will happen in the 104th Congress, is that we can 
engage in a debate on a principled basis, look at 25 years of experi- 
ence with occupational safety and health under the act and decide 
whether the problems can be solved administratively, which I be- 
lieve they largely can be, or whether statutory adjustments are 
necessary. But extreme proposals on either side, I don't believe will 
actually improve situations at the workplace. 

Mr. Souder. You made a number of statements in the record 
criticizing the Ballenger bill, and what I would like to insert in the 
record is a labor policy association report that suggests some of the 



62 

similarities between the administration and Congressman 
Ballenger's bill as opposed to an expansion which Senator Kennedy 
does. 

If you can go through that and if you have any comments for the 
record later on, rather than try to spring this on and go through 
that at this point. 

I also had a couple of technical questions on numbers. I saw you 
had a reference to a decline in grain elevators based on the number 
of injuries; 58 percent, I think the number was. Have you frozen 
those? Is that 58 percent for the same number of grain elevators? 
Have you frozen any other variables? 

I know, for example, the grain elevator in my hometown no 
longer has injuries. They closed down. It is an industry that has 
had huge numbers going out of that industry. 

In fact, on your chart, the ones with declining numbers of inju- 
ries are predominantly declining industries, and the ones where 
you have increasing number of injuries are growing industries. 

Are those numbers indicative of what OSHA is doing, or are they 
numbers that merely are reflecting changes in the economy and 
somewhat give a misleading approach to what OSHA's effective- 
ness is? 

Mr. Dear. My testimony referred to lead, cotton dust, trenches, 
and grain elevators. Those represent studies that were done, and 
we would be happy to turn those over to the committee. So those 
were frozen in time. 

With respect to the point about manufacturing emplojonent, in a 
relative sense, there may have been a decline. There are still mil- 
lions of workers that are employed in manufacturing establish- 
ments, millions in construction. Those hazards are very real, and 
the presence of OSHA enforcement has helped reduce injury and 
illness. 

The lesson, I think, we have to apply as we watch the growth of 
the service sector is how do we address those issues. It may be 
through enforcement. It may be through other means. We are lack- 
ing some critical standards in the service sector area to help guide 
employers on what they need to do to prevent musculoskeletal dis- 
orders among other injuries. 

Mr. SOUDER. I think it is really important in both places to be 
very careful what numbers we use, and that is really what I was 
getting at. 

Did you say at lunch or was it one of the other speakers over at 
the chamber a while ago that OSHA gets to a business about once 
every 88 years if you took the number of visits times the number 
of employers? 

Mr. Dear. There are a number of figures that are bandied about. 
You are right. At the chamber meeting today, the figure, once in 
88 years, is used. We calculated it once in 62 years on a nationwide 
basis. It really is kind of academic, 60 or 80 years. 

Even if you isolate low hazard workplaces out, you are still talk- 
ing of frequency once every 20 years. It is why reliance solely on 
enforcement through physical inspection is likely to jdeld little in 
terms of results because of the infrequency of coverage. 



63 

I am convinced that the public's perceptions were of a much larg- 
er agency than that or we might have a larger noncompliance prob- 
lem. 

Mr. SOUDER. I would just say on the surface, whether it is 20 
years, 62 years or 88 years, it would suggest that there are other 
forces in the economy as well that are pushing for safety, and it 
isn't just OSHA regulations because you are not likely to be living 
in fear of a visit of every 62 years. There are other forces, too, that 
are pushing health and safety. 

In addition to OSHA, there is no denying that it helped. The 
question is how much of the credit goes where, and that is impor- 
tant when we look at the different pieces of legislation. 

Mr. Shays. I am going to try to enforce the 5-minute rule given 
the number of Members. 

Mr. Lantos. 

Mr. Lantos. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Secretary, I am intrigued by this emphasis on partnerships be- 
cause when we had hearings in earlier Congresses here, we had 
hearings exploring terrible working conditions, utterly irresponsible 
employers providing a nightmare in terms of lack of safety, lack of 
decent working conditions. We had an avalanche of witnesses testi- 
fying to the horrors they had to go through. 

I am just wondering what your approach is to bad employers. Ev- 
erybody rationally would like to see well-intentioned employers and 
well-intentioned unions working together and OSHA helping in a 
constructive fashion, but of course, that is not the way the world 
is built in any arena, and there are people who for economic or 
other reasons want to cut comers on safety and health. 

With the enormous cutbacks, 33-percent cutback in enforcement, 
the agency's enforcement efforts will be decimated. The best esti- 
mates I saw is that there would be a 50-percent reduction in in- 
spections, and you in your testimony state 50,000 more injuries a 
year to American worlang men and women. 

The people who are voting for these abominations have a respon- 
sibility to explain to the American people why they favor 50,000 
more injuries to working men and women in the United States. 

My question to you is first with respect to this issue with good 
employers/bad employers. How do you plan to deal with this? Part- 
nership surely is not the answer in this very instance, as your egre- 
gious stories earlier indicated. 

The second question I want to raise relates to the ergonomic 
standards. As Mr. Shays will remember, we had a number of hear- 
ings on the question of ergonomics. We were appalled by the range 
of industries where men and women become permanently crippled 
from newspapers to meat packing, young men and women, middle- 
aged men and women being permanently unemployable because 
their employers were unwilling to use appropriate ergonomic 
standards. 

Riders have been attached to the 1995 recision bill and the 1996 
appropriation measure which will prohibit the agency from devel- 
oping standards or guidelines on this issue which I think is an 
abomination, nothing short of an abomination. It destroys the phys- 
ical health and the mental health of vast numbers of American 



64 

working men and women and deprives their families of somebody 
who can earn a Uving for them. 

How does OSHA plan to deal with this? 

Mr. Dear. You asked two large questions. 

The strategy that says we want to build partnership involves a 
choice, and the other side of that choice is a traditional enforce- 
ment relationship. 

As I indicated in my testimony, we have stepped up enforcement. 
We have doubled the number of egregious cases in the past year, 
and none of those were recordkeeping cases which in the early 
years of egregious was one of the emphases. 

Mr. Lantos. Don't minimize the recordkeeping cases. Mr. Shays 
and I sat through testimony here, where we had double sets of 
books by employers. So recordkeeping is not a minor, little, tech- 
nical issue. Recordkeeping can be a big issue if the employer keeps 
a double set of books. 

The real injuries appear in a book that is not shown to anybody, 
and the phoney set of figures are presented to OSHA. We are del- 
ing with an outrage that OSHA needs to deal with. 

Mr. Dear. Of course, you are right, but we have concentrated on 
violations of standards that are egregious that have actually re- 
sulted in injury or death to workers. We doubled the number of 
those cases in the past year, and we have actually increased the 
number of high-penalty cases. 

Trying to do that and then trying to get notice of those actions, 
so that it is transmitted throughout the industries, throughout the 
communities where these occur, is one of the most effective deter- 
rents OSHA has. 

Again, as I indicated earlier, we are very much emphasizing that 
choice. Some employers have already chosen, and they have chosen 
the enforcement route. Their behavior is such that the offer of a 
partnership to fix things is not appropriate. 

The other employers who have been given the opportunity to 
work cooperatively with us will do a lot more than we could if we 
were depending on getting to that workplace and inspecting, and 
that is where the leverage comes. 

The difficult resource allocation choice for us is we could spend 
all our time on enforcement. It could consume all of our resources. 
We could do none of the partnership initiatives. Will that further 
us better than trying to balance the approaches? 

I think we are trying to find that balance. I don't know if today 
we have done it. We haven't seen the full potential of the partner- 
ships, but I know we will have a lot less willing partners if we 
don't have effective enforcement. 

With respect to ergonomics, your hearings were what I referred 
to when I talked about my knowledge of your work before I ever 
came to Washington. My predecessors began work to develop a 
standard to protect workers from work-related musculoskeletal dis- 
orders. It is a huge problem, and it is a very expensive problem. 
Something like $20 billion, a third of the Nation's worker's com- 
pensation expense, is associated with over-exertion and repetitive- 
motion injuries. 

It affects workers in a way that can disable them for a lifetime. 
I carried forward that work from prior administrations, assembled 



65 

a team, and made the development of proposed regulations one of 
our top priorities. Where are we today? I am prohibited by the Con- 
gress from suggesting to the public that we have a proposed rem- 
edy to this solution. 

In addition to the restrictions from the fiscal 1995 recision bill 
which says we can't promulgate a proposed or final rule or issue 
a guideline, the 1996 appropriations language from the House says 
we can't even collect data on the problem, and I am absolutely con- 
founded by that since this is the same body that wants us to im- 
prove the science and the economics that we use to develop our 
standards. 

We need to be able to put a proposal before employers and work- 
ers and see and gage what that reaction is. I can be very flexible 
about how to approach that, but we need to address this problem. 
It is not going away, and pretending it is not there doesn't help 
anybody. 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. 

Mr. Martini. 

Mr. Martini. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank you 
for holding this important hearing. I do have some opening re- 
marks which I would ask unanimous consent to submit in the 
record. 

Mr. Shays. If I could interrupt the gentleman, for all Members, 
there is unanimous consent. Any information or statement will be 
inserted in the record. 

Mr. Martini. Thank you very much. 

I would like to try to summarize and then formulate a question 
or two to the Secretary, if I may. I guess I would first like to begin 
by saying, as is often the case with some of the things that we have 
learned in the short tenure of being a freshman Congressman, 
often the case is programs begin with good intentions and goals 
and meet those intentions and goals. 

And certainly, OSHA in many respects has achieved some of the 
goals and intentions that were set out by when it was, in fact, en- 
acted into law. But also, I think we find, as is often the case, that 
the pendulum tends to swing beyond many of the intentions and 
goals, and goes to the extreme situations. 

We have been the recipient of listening to and hearing of com- 
plaints in the workplace, and also, as a former local-elected official, 
even at the municipal and county levels, some of the excesses that 
exist in the current system seem to raise all of our concerns as to 
whether we are today still reaching those goals. 

You mentioned in your comments whether or not these could be 
addressed, some of the excesses could be addressed either adminis- 
tratively through reforms that are being initiated currently or 
whether they require the actions of Congress. 

I think you also mentioned the term "effective enforcement," and 
how we get to that is really the question that is most on my mind, 
especially when in preparation for this hearing we had the benefit 
of looking at a memorandum, an internal memorandum of OSHA 
which, I think, sets forth better than anything I can say, and it is 
a memorandum about the concerns issued to compliance officers 
who are issuing ACS citations with respect to products like dish 
water bricks, lubricating oils, dishwashing liquid, et cetera. 



66 

You are probably familiar with this March 21, 1995, memo, and 
if you are not, I would like to make it a part of the record for pur- 
poses of this hearing. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



67 



-~nDn "VDS 



• "'■•^- station 






;rd Convrunication Standard. 



'tJ 



iSlo. 



-atior. and guidance for the Hazard 
CFP 1910.1200, 1915.1200, 1917.25, 
=d to the standard's provisions for 
jnd articles. 



li story with respect to instance£ 
■.= substance (1910.1200(b) 
. . couid have been 



v;h6re 




The performance-oriented nature of KCS maKes it oiiiic>..it to c. 
exact lines for the nurber of tines a consumer product or the 
circumstances ^naer wn. .cie can be used before the prov; 
the rule apply. fOuri 




Loyes use of a consu-ricr 
liar to the way a consujner would use a product or where the 
hazardous cherdcal under consideration meets the definition of an article 
violation of HCS. 



product is sim. 



:ations of HCS for consumer products are appropriate, the 



i> 



68 



|,;rj:4b 



801-487-1190->Z8Z 347 4BB4 



FAX NETUORK GATEUAV Page 3 



tollowinq elements must be included as documentation in the case file; 

1. Document what information establishes the chemical as a 
consumer product. Was the container labeled with a label 
that is subject to the regulations of the Consumer Product 
Safety Act? 

2. Document the hazardous chemical (s) present in the consumer 
product that employees were exposed to. Does the chemical 
present an acute or chror.ic hazard? Was the chemical on the 
employer's hazardous chemical inventory? 

3. Document the duration of use, the period of time the 
cnemicai was usea auring tne worksniiL ana week, iiia it 
greatly exceed normal or expected use by a consumer? 

4. Document the frequency or pattern of use. Did it 
greatly exceed normal or expected use by a consumer? 

5. Document the purpose of use. Was the consu-mer product used 
as recommended by the manufacturer or proscribed by the 
manufacturer? 

6. Docu.T.ent the manner of use; was the consumer product used in 
a concentrated form or solution? What amount ri.e., the 
liters or grams) of the chemical was usee 



Attach the MSDt" 
i.e.. is it de: 
intended use(s) . 



; liable, for the catec product, 
, iizardous chemical; what is its 



When citing HCS violations involving consumer products, identify in the 
, citation the specific hazardous chemical and the concentration of the 
hazardous chemical present in the consumer product. In addition, the 

frequency and duration of ■:•-'-• -''-•.".' resulted in expo^iiM^^iflaiiicantli 
in those of a ccr;i.,;--v- rust be docume.ited 




In a similar fashion, for HCS violations involving manufactured items or 
commercial products which under normal conditions of use may release 
hazardous chemicals and do r.c: -^et the criteria of the "article" 
exemption (1910.1200(c)), tr.-; . ;:rific hazardous chemical ide.ntified in 
the specific item shall be aescribed in the citation. In the case of 
mixtures, the concentration of the specific hazardous che 

included in the cit ation. 

In this case, compliance officers shall 

identity the specific hazardous chemical, such as silica, present in the 
item, the concentration of the specific hazardous chemical in the item, 
the product name of the item, the specific operation(9) where an employee 
is or may be exposed to a physical or health hazard and the duration of 
employee exposure. 

To ensure that c j. tationE of HCS for items that appear to be "articles" 

'are appropriate, the 
following elements must beTn^STO^^^ocumentation in the case file: 

i. Document the hazardous chemical (s) and the concentration 

that was present in the itan that employees were exposed to. 
Was the chemical on the employer's hazardous chemical 



69 



r 



fl01-48?-1190->282 34? 4BB4 



FAX NETUORK GATEUAV Page 4 



entory 



.document the activities or operations that resulted in 
employee exposure to the hazardous che(r.ical(s) in the item 
and the duration of use. 

Attach the MSDS, where available, :.; -.ted product, 

ie., does it define it as a hazardous chemical and any 
statements of its intended use(s)? 




[f the hazardous chemica 
mgrecient in a mixture, compliance oTTicers snail identify in tr.'^ 
citation the specific hazardous chemicaljs) present, and the re", 
concentration (S) of the chemicai(s) in the mixture. In sdditior 
specific operations where an employee . 
or health hazard snd the duration of p~ 
ider- 



70 



TOP 10 MOST FREQUENTLY VIOLATED STANDARDS, FY 92 - FY 95* 





FY 92 


FY 93 


FY 94 


FY 95 


RANK 


STANDARD VIOLATED 


STANDARD VIOLATED 


STANDARD VIOLATED 


STANDARD VIOLATED 




• VIOLATIONS 


* VIOLATIONS 


• VIOLATIONS 


« VIOLATIONS 


1 


1910.1200 


1910.1200 


1910.1200 


1910.1200"^ 




Hazard Communication 


Hazard Communication 


Hazard Communication 


Hazard Communication 




19,329 


17,888 


17,000 


10,165 




1926.059 


1926.059 


1926.059 


1910.147 


2 


Hazard Communication 


Hazard Communication 


Hazard Communication 


LocKout/Tagout 




(Construction) 


(Construction) 


(Construction) 






13,819 


11,363 


10.421 


4,700 




1910.147 


1910.147 


1910.147 


1926.451 


3 


Loctcout/TaeoLit 


Lockout/Tagout 


LockoutA'agout 


Scatfclding 




6,592 


7,080 


7.264 


4.048 




1910.219 


1910.305 


1926.461 


1910.305 


4 


Mechanical Power - 


Winng Methods. 




Winng Methods, 




TrantmlMion 


Componentt, Equipment 


Scaffolding 


Components, Equipment 




Apparatus 


for General Use 




for General Use 




4,904 


4,851 


5,539 


3,457 




1926.451 


1910.219 


1910.305 


1910.219 


5 




Mechanical Power • 


Wiring Methods. 


Mechanical Power - 




Seatrblding 


Transmission 


Components, Equipment 


Transmission , 






Apparatus 


Apparatus 


Apparatus 




4.812 


4,634 


5.023 


3,355 




1910.305 


1926.461 


1910.219 


1926.059 


6 


Wiring Methods. 




Mechanical Power • 


Hazard Communication 




Convoncnts. Equipment 


ScifToMing 


Transmission 


(Construction) 




for General Use 




Apparatus 






4.766 


4,444 


4,630 


3.315 




1904.002 


1904.002 


1904.002 


1910.132 


7 


Injury Leg 


Injury Leg 


Injury Log 


Personal Protective Equip 




4.211 


4.257 


4,082 


3,070 




1910.134 


1910.1030 


1910.212 


1910.212 


8 


Respiratory Protection 


Bloodbome Pathogens 


Machine Guarding 


Machine Guarding 




3.981 


4,041 


3.964 


3.016 




1910.212 


1910.134 


1910.134 


1910.303 


9 


Machine Ouarding 


Respiratory Protection 


Reaptratory Protection 


Electrical 




3,8S6 


3,881 


3,956 


2.548 




1903.002 


1910.212 


1910.157 


1910.215 


10 


OSHA Poster 


Machine Guarding 


Portable Fire Extinguishers 


Abrasive Wheel Maehinan 




3,697 


3,813 


3.643 


2,507 



* FY 65 (as of September 22. 1995) 
Source: OMOS IMIS Reports. 



71 



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72 

Mr. Martini. I guess this sums it up better than any questions 
I could ask. We are here today, and this is only some months ago, 
and we are talking about how do we avoid these excesses, and 
these are the types of excesses that I think are of great concern to 
employers, municipalities, and counties. I think this is clearly what 
we would refer to as a paperwork type of citation which is probably 
more cumbersome in your agency than actual substantive citations 
in many respects. 

So I guess, first, my question is in the face of a very recent 
memorandum, what assurance do we have that this can be ad- 
dressed purely through administrative oversight because it would 
seem to me that this is something that should have never even got- 
ten to this point versus defining better what it is we are looking 
and overseeing. That is No. 1. Then, if we have time, I have an- 
other question, if I may. 

Mr. Dear. Hazard communication is enormously important be- 
cause there are only chemical standard exposure limits for about 
400-plus chemicals. Yet, there are about 50,000 toxic substances in 
use in workplaces. Hazard communication was developed as a way 
of providing information to workers and their employers about the 
nature of the substances they were working with, what signs of ad- 
verse health effects are and what first aid remedy. So, yes, you 
have to put it in paper, so it is paperwork, but this can be enor- 
mously important life-saving information. 

We are reviewing and revising the enforcement of that standard, 
as you noted from the memorandum that we sent out. We have 
also asked our National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safe- 
ty and Health to review the hazard communication standard alto- 
gether, and there is a work group that meets this week, in fact, to 
do that. Our advisory committee is a statutory labor-management 
public advisory committee. They have been given staff. 

I think there are two problems with hazard communication. One 
is we haven't looked at opportunities to use information technology 
to ease compliance since the standard was developed, and there 
may well be ways of actually reducing the burden on small employ- 
ers with technology solutions. Second, if you look at a material 
safety data sheet which is what is required, it is often very difficult 
to understand. So, in terms of getting useful information to the 
worker, there is an opportunity for improvement. 

To demonstrate what we are doing, in 1994, we cited construc- 
tion employers for 15,000 violations of the hazard communication 
standard. In 1995, we cited them 7,000 times. That is a result of 
our focused inspection and construction program in that emphasis. 

So I am willing and I support the elimination of penalties which 
don't represent serious threats to worker health and safety, but I 
do not agree that failing to provide information about toxic chemi- 
cals to workers is a non-serious problem. 

Mr. Martini. Mr. Chairman, may I just follow up for 10 seconds, 
if I may? 

The problem I have is you are not addressing the lack of super- 
vision of even the compliance officers. When they start to go out 
and issue citations for dish washing liquid and welding rods and 
lubricating oils and bricks and things like that, we all know there 
is a need for a certain amount of hazardous information in the 



73 

workplace, but this is the type of example firsthand that I saw all 
too often at the very local and municipal levels, and I don't know 
how we remedy that, and I don't think you could do it administra- 
tively. This is a current memorandum that strikes home. 

Mr. Shays. If I could say, that was a long 15 seconds. My chal- 
lenge is that what I would like to do is allow Members, if they 
would like to, to ask you a second round of questions and we keep 
it under 5 minutes. I would like to give you a chance to response 
if you would like, but I want to be now generous to my colleague 
on my right side to extend over 5 minutes. That is the challenge. 

Mr. Dear. If I could briefly respond because you get to a larger 
question here, how do you measure performance? Organizations 
perform according to the incentives that exist within them. OSHA's 
performance was measured primarily by looking at the number of 
inspections that were done, and then underneath that number, how 
many violations were found for inspection and how many penalty 
dollars we collected. That is what Congress budgeted. 

What was the primary workload driver in our appropriation? 
Number of inspections. This existed over the Carter administra- 
tion, Reagan, Bush, into the Clinton administration. The primary 
measurement of OSHA activity, since I don't think it was a result, 
was number of inspections. 

I think we are here to reduce injury, illness, and death in the 
workplace. That is the output that we should be measured against. 

So what I have done in OSHA is to take out what our own people 
call the numbers game, trying to get inspections, trying to get vio- 
lation for inspection. Why were some employers cited for serious 
violations, for relatively minor and to the public seemingly nonsen- 
sical failures to provide information about common household prod- 
ucts? Because it wasn't good inspection if you didn't get 4.2 viola- 
tions. 

That can be fixed administratively, and evaluations of perform- 
ance of workers, supervisors, and me can be conducted accordingly. 

Mr. Shays. I am learning as a new chairman that the way you 
get around the 5-minute rule is you basically ask all your questions 
in the first 5 minutes, and then you allow the gentleman to take 
the next 5 minutes to respond. I did want to give you an oppor- 
tunity. You are only a freshman and you have learned that. 

Mr. Martini. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Shays. Mr. Green. 

Mr. Green. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I would like to thank the Secretary for being here today, and I 
guess my experience in the private sector was during the 1980's be- 
fore the reform, and I helped work and manage a printing com- 
pany. I walked through our printing shop with OSHA inspectors. 
I received the impression, and I wasn't told, but they were just 
looking for violations. 

I think the goal of what you are doing and the administration is 
doing is recognizing that you can't set a quota, and I know there 
was never an official quota, but I sure got that impression on two 
occasions during the 1980's, and that wasn't during this adminis- 
tration. That was during two previous administrations in the pri- 
vate sector. 



74 

I guess my concern was I was a legislature at that time. In 
Texas, we serve part time. This inspector knew very little about 
the printing industry. In fact, he was not concerned about what we 
were concerned about, people getting their hand caught into the 
press and things like that. They were looking for what I called 
minor violations, just to be able to write me up or write the busi- 
ness up. I was not the owner. I was the manager of it. I am glad 
you are changing that because, again, that was my experience dur- 
ing the 1980's, but I left that in 1990. 

Let me get to some of your testimony that you did not get to give 
because of the time schedule. I was interested where you talked 
about the 1996 appropriations bill for both the DOL, HHS, and 
Education that passed our House in July; that it would slash en- 
forcement programs by 33 percent? 

Mr. Dear. Yes. 

Mr. Green. And it would result in a 50-percent reduction in the 
inspections? 

Mr. Dear. That is correct. 

Mr. Green. I know my colleague mentioned the 50,000 more in- 
juries a year, and we went over the numbers games that we talked 
about, whether it is every 60 years or 80 years or every 20 years, 
but you do have to have the ability to inspect just as a basis, but 
that is not going to cause a safe workplace in itself. It has to be 
other programs, and I think you are trying to institute that. 

I am also serving on another committee. In fact, my colleague 
and I, Mr. Chairman, that is why we weren't here. We were in a 
hearing, and there were only a couple of Members there for that 
hearing on the Committee on Economic and Educational Oppor- 
tunity. 

In the remainder of your statement, you talk about H.R. 1834 
that we will consider in that committee. It had been in effect in 
1989. OSHA could have issued only a penalty of $10,800 for the ex- 
plosion and fire that killed 23 workers at a Phillips 66 plant in 
Pasadena, TX. 

I represent that plant facility, and I was there before and I was 
there after that plant exploded. Again, I was not in Congress at 
that time, but I represent that facility now. I represented across 
the Ship ChEinnel at that time in the State Senate. 

If H.R. 1834 passed, would that tragedy have happened? Again, 
I am honored to represent the Houston Ship Channel, but we also 
have a volatile product that we produce, and we have had explo- 
sions in the past. 

In fact, a good friend of mine was a plant manager at a facility 
not close to the Phillips plant that caused death and injury, and 
that plant manager literally lost his friends in that. So it wasn't 
necessarily his fault, but somebody has to be overseeing, and that 
is a good company, and Phillips is, too, in a great many cases. Good 
companies do make mistakes. 

In your testimony you are giving us today, if that bill passes this 
Congress with the explosion and loss of life at PhilUps, there would 
only have been a $10,000 penalty? 

Mr. Dear. That is correct because the H.R. 1834 would prohibit 
OSHA from issuing penalties for violations under the general duty 
clause. 



75 

The general duty clause is a basic requirement that employer 
provide a workplace and a place of employment free of recognized 
hazard. 

At the time of the catastrophe at Phillips, there was no standard 
which pertained specifically to the operation of highly hazardous 
chemical facilities. We do now have such a standard, the process 
safety management standard. 

The only way we could conduct enforcement and sanction for that 
tragedy which killed 23 workers is under the general duty clause, 
and under H.R. 1834, no more. 

In fact, under that bill, unless there is a serious injury or death, 
there would be no effective enforcement at all the first time OSHA 
visited. If we are there once every 60 years and the next visit is 
in the next century, the whole notion of prevention has turned on 
its head with that bill. 

Mr. Green. I like the statistics you showed us with the Maine 
example. Again, as a business person, if there is some way to safe- 
guard the workers that I happen to be working with, I want to do 
it and to have both the carrot and the stick, but you can't just go 
with the carrot. You have to have that stick every once in a while 
by slashing the appropriations a third and taking away that abil- 
ity. 

Again, as you have testified today, it is not the same as it was 
5 years ago or even 4 years ago or maybe even 3 years ago with 
occupational safety, and I want to encourage you to continue that 
because the reason you see bills like 1834 and the effort from a lot 
of Members of Congress is a frustration with that program that we 
have perceived and some of us have actually experienced. 

I have one last question, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Shays. Let me just say for the record you are over your 5 
minutes, but I would like to be fair to both sides here. Feel free 
to ask that last question. 

Mr. Green. If you could tell someone in the business community 
who may not be in favor of turning OSHA into a consultive agency, 
and again, I like the idea of consulting, but I would also like, as 
a policymaker now, to make sure we still have that stick to go out 
and enforce those unsafe job sites that we know are out there. 

Mr, Dear. Consultation is important. You find an employer who 
has a problem. They need help working on it. 

We have a grant program that operates in 44 States and pro- 
vides assistance in the remaining States for a consultation program 
that provides services free of charge to small businesses in high- 
hazard industries. They are operated through programs in State 
commerce and labor departments. 

Texas as a result of its worker's compensation reform has vastly 
stepped up the consultation assistance available to employers and 
made it a requirement for insurers doing business in the State to 
provide that kind of assistance, and that can be useful. 

It is just a matter of common sense. If there is no enforcement, 
who is going to ask for a consultation? Some employers will, but 
a lot will just move that item down further on their priority list. 
They won't get to it. Something terrible will happen, and we will 
all feel that we have been let down. 

Mr, Green, is Deer Park in your district? 



76 

Mr. Green. I have the industrial part of Deer Park. I have the 
Shell refinery, 

Mr. Dear. I visited the Shell refinery. I met with the labor-man- 
agement committee there. They are keenly aware of the extremely 
low probability, but the high catastrophe potential of their oper- 
ation, and they are an example of what happens when the labor 
union and a company decide they are going to work together, when 
management says we are going to listen to the voice of workers. 

Those folks need encouragement, and they need recognition for 
their effort. There are other employers that need to know that the 
Grovemment is keeping a sharp eye on them. 

Mr. Green. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Shays. Mrs. Morella. 

[The prepared statement of Hon. Constance A. Morella follows:] 



77 



Statement of Congresswomaiy Constance >\. Morelia 

Hearing: "OSHA: New Mission for a New Workplace" 

Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations 

October 17, 1995 



I would like to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this 
important oversight hearing regarding the Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration (OSHA). I also welcome Assistant Secretary 
(Joseph) Dear and extend my appreciation for his willingness to 
enlighten me and the members of the Subcommittee about the 
important role of OSHA and efforts to make his agency more 
effective. 

Since it was created 25 years ago, OSHA has been 
instrumental in reducing workplace fatalities and preventing 
thousands of job-related injuries and illnesses. The injury and 
fatality rates have shown greater declines in industries where 
OSHA has concentrated its standards and enforcement activities. 
However, in areas where OSHA has not focused its energy and 
added attention, such as the federal workplace, health and safety 
hazards are causing a high rate of injuries and illness. 



78 



By law, every federal agency Is required to establish an 
effective safety and health program. OSHA's Office of Federal 
Agency Programs (OFAP) oversees the implementation of these 
programs, which rely on voluntary compliance. While workplace 
hazards continue to grow, the staffing levels at OFAP have 
decreased. Budget constraints have limited OFAP's evaluations to 
two per year. This is a matter of great concern to me. 

The lack of resources at OSHA, coupled with the failure by 
most agencies to evaluate their managers' performance in the area 
of health and safety, put federal employees at risk on a daily basis. 

The health and safety concerns in the public sector mirror the 
private sector. Asbestos fiber release in buildings. Legionnaire's 
disease, accendental death due to poor training and supervision, 
and failure to properly ventilate machine shops are among the 
commonplace concerns in both the public and private work 
environments. 



79 

In the private sector as well as the public sector, a great 
number of workplace injuries are occurring in repetitive motion 
occupations, primarily where computer and video display 
terminals (VDTs) are used. In the federal sector, the workers most 
likely to sustain these injuries are women. We need to take 
reasonable steps to protect our federal workers. 

I look forward to hearing testimony from our expert witnesses 
today. I especially would like to explore some of-4lipPVf my 
concerns about the federal workplace in the context of a 
refocused OSHA with Assistant Secretary Dear. 



80 

Mrs. MORELLA. Thank you. 

Thank you, Secretary Dear, for your testimony. I know it is a 
very lengthy one that you have given all of us to peruse and to 
study. 

I would like to just address a question with regard to Federal 
employees. I am certainly concerned about the health and safety 
hazard that our Federal employees face on a daily basis. According 
to a report from your agency, in 1991, there were more than 
170,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in the Federal Govern- 
ment at a cost of more than $1.5 billion. 

I would like to ask you what can be done to make our Federal 
environment safer for these workers, and add to that the fact that, 
for instance, in 1992, the American Federation of Government Em- 
ployees, AFGE, conducted a study relating to repetitive motion in- 
juries at the Social Security Administration. Among the results are: 
78.4 percent of the employees surveyed experienced pain in their 
shoulders, arm, elbows and necks; 53.8 percent have had pain, ach- 
ing, stiffness, burning, numbness; 56.5 percent wake up during the 
night. A lot of this is part of that carpal tunnel syndrome, and of 
course, most of the workers who experienced the injuries were 
women. 

I just wondered if you were aware of that survey and if you 
would like to offer any comments with regard to the Federal envi- 
ronment for our workers. 

Mr. Dear. I am not aware of that survey specifically, but I must 
say that I am not surprised since the work activities of employees 
in Social Security Administration involving intensive keying all day 
long would produce the same sorts of injury we see for their coun- 
terparts in the private sector. 

OSHA undertook one major enforcement action in the Federal 
sector in the past year. That was an investigation of the fire at the 
South Canyon, Glenwood Springs fire in Colorado, that took the 
lives of 14 fire-fighters. This was a very detailed, lengthy, and in- 
tensive investigation into the causes of that. It represented our 
most significant enforcement action in the past year. 

I am happy to report that both the Department of Agriculture 
and particularly the Interior Department have taken our report to 
heart and are working hard to implement changes and to see that 
a tragedy like that doesn't occur. 

My second observation, which probably should be the first, is I 
think public employers and Federal employers should have exactly 
the same obligation as private employers. After all, we are talking 
about workers, and the color of the check shouldn't make a dif- 
ference in terms of the degree of protection those workers are af- 
forded. 

In many instances when OSHA interacts with Federal agencies, 
the agencies are responsive and will address the concerns, but 
there have been cases where those agencies have not. In those in- 
stances, OSHA has no enforcement ability at all. We can be ig- 
nored. 

The administration supported reform of occupational safety and 
health law for the Federal sector to treat Federal employers the 
same as private sector employers, and I think that would be an ap- 
propriate step. 



81 

Otherwise, we are in the same predicament with the Federal sec- 
tor as we are with the private sector. We have an enormous re- 
sponsibiUty. There are many problems, and we have very limited 
resources to deal with them. 

Mrs. MORELLA. Have you suggested any performance standards 
for managers at Federal agencies? 

Mr. Dear. We have at the Department of Labor, 

It is outside my purview and my knowledge, but the way in 
which worker's compensation benefits are charged to the agency is 
not as responsive as private sector worker's compensation experi- 
ence rating is. If that was fed into the budgets of the agencies, so 
that they had some more of the bottom line encouragement to man- 
age prevention and disability management, I think it could be ben- 
eficial. 

Mrs. MoRELLA. It is going to be hard to do it financially, but I 
think certainly in terms of making sure that we do have some kind 
of performance satisfaction and guarantees, the Federal sector is 
appropriate. 

I agree with you. I think the Federal sector should not be ignored 
as we are looking for standards in workplace safety. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Shays. I thank the gentlewoman. 

Mr. Fattah. 

Mr. Fattah. Mr. Dear, later on this committee is going to hear, 
at least it is evident by the written testimony, from someone who 
represents American workers, steelworkers, who says that what 
you do is important, in fact, that it saves lives. 

He discusses in the written document that has been supplied to 
the committee that some 35 individual members died last year on 
the job, and 26 so far this year in various workplaces. 

These cuts that are in the fiscal year 1996 budget and the legis- 
lative constraints around enforcement issues, as we all deal in a lot 
of Federal rhetoric, if you put what you have said about that in 
your testimony and what is going to be told to the committee a lit- 
tle bit later on, it seems pretty clear that what we are talking 
about is the fact that we are going to be jeopardizing the lives of 
American workers if this Congress continues to go in the direction 
that it is going relative to OSHA. 

Is that a true statement? Is that an overstatement? What is your 
professional judgment? 

Mr. Dear. I agree with that. I think the consequence of gutting 
OSHA's enforcement capacity will be more injury and illness to 
American workers, and in the end, we won't be saving anybody 
anjrthing, not the workers who will suffer the consequences of those 
injuries and illnesses for a lifetime and not their employers who 
will pay directly and indirectly for that, all in the name of saving 
$48 million which is the amount of the overall House cut. 

Furthermore, that cut will inhibit our ability to move in the new 
direction we are trying to get to which will not only keep us at the 
present level of the prevention, but will augment that, that will in- 
crease it. 

How can I do a VPP site evaluation to recognize excellence and 
just set up a model in a community of how to do it in the best 



82 

sense possible if all I have got resource to do is to go investigate 
accidents, fatalities, and catastrophes? 

Mr. Fattah. Let me go a little bit further. Most of your work, 
a lot of your work is in voluntary compliance and in technical as- 
sistance to companies, but in all good, there is some bad. Obvi- 
ously, most employers want to provide a safe workplace. 

I am very concerned about the cuts in enforcement. I am having 
difficulty with the numbers. You say on the one hand that you 
have a 33-percent cut and a 50-percent drop in inspections. If you 
could have us understand more clearly why those numbers are dif- 
ferent, rather than a 33-percent cut in inspection, 

Mr. Dear. A 33-percent cut will force us to reduce our staff. 
When we reduce staff, it costs money. Basically, for every two em- 
ployees I RIF, I have to RIF a third employee to pay the cost of 
the other RIF. 

Because of the procedures that are established in conditions 
when employees are reduced, we have no control over who is left. 
It is a contractual and a legal obligation that we have to follow. 

That means that as a function is closed down, those people lose 
their jobs, and they have a right, depending on their seniority, to 
other jobs in the organization. The displacement then can occur in 
different geographic locations, and we are obligated to pay the cost 
of the move as we should be, but the short-term consequence of this 
is that the immediate cut is much deeper than effect on operations. 

Mr. Fattah. So you have a budget cut on one side that hurts in- 
spections. Are there also other provisions that cause you not to do 
inspections until there is some significant event that takes place 
before you can go out and do an inspection? 

Mr. Dear. There is a priority. A complaint of imminent danger 
requires an immediate response, a report of fatality or catastrophe, 
like the Pennzoil explosion in Pennsylvania yesterday. We have 
five or six people onsite right now. We drop everything and go 
there and begin to work to find out what happened. 

So the priorities drive the work, and when you run out of work- 
ers to do the work, then everything beneath that becomes some- 
thing that is not done, and one of the things that won't get done 
are proactive random inspections. 

Mr. Fattah. Let me thank you for your testimony. 

In conclusion, I think it is of interest that we have American 
workers who are working every day who are paying taxes that help 
support an agency that hopefully in some important ways helps to 
protect their life and their health and that we think as a Congress 
that somehow that is not a good enough thing to do with their dol- 
lars, and I think it is unfortunate. I hope that we would find ways 
to restore these funds. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Shays. I thank the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylva- 
nia. 

Mr. Scarborough. 

Mr. Scarborough. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for 
holding the hearing. 

I would just like to followup. I certainly think it is a noble goal 
for Grovemment to try to protect the life and health, but I think it 
is also important for us to do a balancing act where not only do 



83 

we protect workers' lives and health, but also protect their jobs and 
make sure that regulations aren't so overly burdensome that the 
business isn't put in jeopardy. 

Let me say this. I had a visit with Monsanto in my district in 
northwest Florida, and Monsanto, I believe, is part of the VPP pro- 
gram. I couldn't get them to say anything bad about OSHA. 

You are doing a good job in that area. They were extremely 
pleased with the program. It was like nothing I have ever heard 
from business, and I think you should be commended for that. 

My concern has come, and I think many concerns echo the con- 
cerns that Mr. Green stated earlier. It comes more from small busi- 
nesses, and I am sure that you recognize the problems there. 

The White House Conference on Small Business has singled 
OSHA out just in June 1995 as one of their major obstacles. 

Also, we had a meeting. I believe it was the Grovemment Reform 
and Oversight Committee had a meeting with Vice President Gore 
a few months back, and the Republicans had their say first, the 
five or so that were there, and all of them were criticizing OSHA. 
Then the Vice President turned to the Democrats and basically was 
saying come on, I am waiting for the calvary to come in, and the 
Democrats all criticized OSHA. Obviously, Congressman Lantos 
wasn't there. 

Anyway, you do recognize that there is a perceived adversarial 
problem between OSHA and small businesses, do you not? 

Mr. Dear. Oh, sure. I was at the Small Business conference and 
met with them. 

I am very concerned about that. I don't think that the right to 
a safe and healthy place to work should be dependent on the size 
of your employer that the right extends to all workers regardless 
of where they work. 

At the same time, we have to recognize that depending on the 
size of the firm, the internal resources available to the firm to deal 
with health and safety issues may be quite limited. For a new firm 
with a few employees where the entrepreneur is struggling every 
day, it is quite a challenge to stay in business. 

The balance we have to find is how to reconcile that right of a 
worker to have a safe and healthful workplace and not to have a 
variable application of the law around the country with the dif- 
ferent ability of firms to manage safety and health or other regu- 
latory obligations. 

Among a number of specific steps we are taking now, we are re- 
vising our penalty policy. We are saying that employers who dem- 
onstrate a commitment to health and safety through a plan, and 
it doesn't even have to be a written plan, but through a plan, such 
as a small contractor does a toolbox meeting before going to work, 
will get a significantly larger reduction in any penalty that they 
may have as a result of violation based on size and based on com- 
mitment. This is an expansion of existing reductions. 

We have asked the Congress for more money for the grant pro- 
gram, which I described earlier, that provides free consultation as- 
sistance to small business and high-hazard industries as a way of 
getting information to them. 

I have been tr3dng to work with the insurance industry and with 
one or two insurers specifically who sell worker's compensation in- 



84 

surance to try to tap into the market incentives that exist to reduce 
injury and illness and reduce worker's compensation expense. So I 
thank there are a host of issues. 

One final thing, if I could point out, we are working with the 
home builders to write a simplified description of hazards in the 
home building industry, 10 pages, what are the major hazards that 
hurt construction workers and what is a simple, easy-to-under- 
stand, with pictures and diagrams, way that a home builder can 
comply. If you follow that guideline, you know you are not going 
to be in any serious problem if there is an OSHA inspection. We 
hope to finish that brochure or that pamphlet this fall and then use 
the association to distribute it to its members. 

So I think there are a lot of things we can do to help small busi- 
ness, help them save money, help them be competitive, and also to 
ensure that workers are as safe and as healthy as they are entitled 
to be under the law. 

Mr. Scarborough. You are aware of the fall protection provi- 
sions that right now appear to be in flux. It was at 16 feet. Now 
there is some talk that it is going to be lowered even below 16 feet 
to a point where some will have to wear harness protection while 
working on 1-story homes. 

I know there is a rider to the Labor/HHS bill that takes care of 
that. I had understood that OSHA was reexamining that. Are you 
interested in going back and possibly changing your opinion on the 
16-foot threshold? What is the status of that right now? 

Mr. Dear. We adopted a change to the fall protection standard 
involving construction, including home building, that took effect in 
February 1995. It set a standard of fall protection requirements be- 
ginning at 6 feet, not 16 feet. We did so because falls are the lead- 
ing killer of construction workers. 

We have worked in the standard that we adopted at that time 
to provide flexibility to home builders and to roofers to allow them 
to identify alternate means of protection. 

We have been in further discussion since the standard took effect 
to clarify what it would take to demonstrate that alternative 
means, and we are actively discussing that now. We might be pre- 
pared to consider reopening the rule to provide assurance in the 
regulatory text and the preamble as to how the standard will apply 
in the home building industry, and as I say, that is a discussion 
which is continuing at this time. 

I would note that the rider that the House placed on our appro- 
priation for this year not only took the fall protection standard that 
we changed back to 16 feet. It swept other fall protection standards 
for opening stairwells and other things to 16 feet which was actu- 
ally worse than what existed before. So it actually would roll back 
standards well before the time that I acted to increase fall protec- 
tion. 

The bottom line here is I think we can work something out that 
will help prevent falls in the construction industry, but which will 
allow appropriate flexibility for the home builders, and I hope 
through further discussion we can resolve that without having to 
resort to congressional appropriations language. 

Mr. Scarborough. Thank you. 

Mr. Shays. I thank the gentleman. 



85 

I deferred my question until the end, and I would like to enable 
some of our other witnesses to come forward, but I want to ask you 
a few questions for clarification. 

First off, independent workers, do they have to abide by any re- 
quirements you have if they are self-employed? 

Mr. Dear. No. 

Mr. Shays. If someone is an independent contractor on a facility, 
let's just say building a home. They are a roofer or a two-man oper- 
ation and they are both partners. Do they have to abide by any re- 
quirements? 

Mr. Dear. Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not define an 
emplojTnent relationship which would bring that activity under the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act. 

Mr. Shays. Does having unclassified workers, misclassified work- 
ers present a challenge to you and OSHA? 

Mr. Dear. That has not arisen during my time with Federal 
OSHA. I administered a State plan before I came here, and I have 
experienced that issue whether or not there was an emplojanent re- 
lationship which would create an obligation to comply with OSHA 
standards. 

Mr. Shays. You have extraordinary rulemaking powers, and then 
you have the basic enforcement of the rules. Is it fair to look at 
those two as your primary responsibility? Is there another respon- 
sibility I should insert in there? 

Mr. Dear. Education, training, and recognition are the third part 
of our functions. 

Mr. Shays. First off, I might just parenthetically say there have 
been questions about this hearing. There are some people wonder- 
ing what is the intent of this hearing. Are we trying to go after 
OSHA? Is that the intent now when there have been budget cuts? 
Is it wise to have you before this subcommittee? I just would com- 
ment that you are in a very difficult situation of being asked to do 
more with less, but my sense is the direction your are headed is 
the direction that most Members of Congress would want you to 
head. And, that is to work on a cooperative basis with employers, 
so they can save lives, notwithstanding the challenge that Mr. Lan- 
tos makes that there aire some employers who are simply going to 
want to cut comers and save dollars and, in essence, jeopardize 
their employees. 

One of the things that has troubled me is that murder in the 
workplace is basically exempt from any real punishment. I can't 
think of more than one or two times in 20 years that anyone has 
been found guilty. I can think of very few. Let me put it that way, 
where they have been found guilty of murder in the workplace. 
Under Federal Statute the test is that you have to actually show 
intent to harm the employee. Have you looked at whether it would 
be advisable for us to make the standard a little easier? For in- 
stance, in the case of what happened in Waterbury, CT, when 
someone knows that their plant isn't ventilated and knows that an 
individual is going to be a night watchman who has no sense of 
what chemicals are being used, and that watchman suffocates and 
dies. That employee was murdered in my judgment, but based on 
our standard, we had to prove intent. 



86 

Have you looked at this issue of criminal statutes as it relates 
to this? 

Mr. Dear. Let me tell you of a case we recently handled. We got 
a conviction of an employer in Georgia who operated a tank wash- 
ing company. The employer had asked for a consultation from the 
State of Georgia and received it and had purchased equipment for 
retrieval of workers from confined spaces. 

After the consultation, the employer returned the retrieval equip- 
ment unopened. One of his workers subsequently entered a tank, 
was overcome by fumes, and died. He was prosecuted by the De- 
partment of Justice and found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. He 
received the maximum penalty under law of 6 months. 

Mr. Shays. Misdemeanor? 

Mr. Dear. Gross misdemeanor, a 6-month period in jail, and a 
100-and-some-odd-thousand-dollar fine. That is the most we could 
do under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. 

Last year, we supported legislation which would have created fel- 
ony penalties for willful violations involving the death of an em- 
ployee. It was the provision of the bill which was most effectively 
used by employer opponents of the OSHA reform to scare employ- 
ers into believing that OSHA would run rampant with criminal 
penalty authority and would terrorize the employer community, 
when all we sought to do was to assure in cases when the conduct 
was so gross and outrageous and so offensive to public decency that 
appropriate criminal sanctions were necessary. 

U.S. Attorneys have got a lot of work to do, and you bring them 
a gross misdemeanor case and unless it is a really, really, really 
good case, they are not going to take it up. 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. 

I would offer any Member a question, if necessary, but I would 
like to encourage us to go forward. 

Mr. Souder. 

Mr. Souder. May I make a comment? 

Mr. Shays. Sure. 

Mr. Souder. I attempted to be very polite at first, and I don't 
really want to get into debate, but I do appreciate the difference 
between how you have answered some of the questions and how 
some people have made assertions or even in the written testimony 
assertions have been made about Congressman Ballenger's bill 
causing 30,000 more deaths. You, in fact, said it is likely to in- 
crease accidents. That is substantially different than putting a nu- 
merical number on it, and that it should be clear that we shouldn't 
have fake science masquerade as science; that in fact, your own 
numbers suggest that there is a lack of clarity. 

We could put together a chart. There is a nearly perfect correla- 
tion that suggests that whatever industry you have been successful 
in lowering the abuse in, there has been a decline in jobs, and 
therefore, OSHA is causing a decline in jobs. 

You can do a lot of things with charts that may not be represent- 
ative. I think that we can argue about the merits of a bill. This is 
like having a public discussion over what a tolerance in actual 
should have in a car or a tolerance of what they should have in a 
tire because, certainly, there are going to be failures, and it is very 
difficult without making those of us who believe that there should 



87 

be reform which benefits the American workers with those of us 
who beUeve that your voluntary compUance efforts are worthwhile, 
and Congressman Ballenger's bill does a lot of that, are somehow 
being held personally liable for every death or every injury that oc- 
curs, and 62 percent are transportation, homicide or suicide which 
OSELA. has very little to do with. 

I commend your efforts to reform the agency. I commend, quite 
frankly, in personal response to questions, your carefulness in not 
doing that. I hope other Members of Congress are also careful with 
specific data and in your testimony that you would be a little more 
cautious about the nature of the claims, even though you are trjdng 
to defend your agency. 

Mr. Dear. I, of course, stand by my testimony and would be 
happy to go into the numbers at any time. 

I must say, Mr. Chairman, how much I appreciate the oppor- 
tunity to come to the committee and talk about the management 
of a Grovemment agency and how to make it more effective. It 
hasn't happened in my 2 years here. 

This is what really counts to the American people. I think they 
expect us to get our act together, to get Government and business 
and labor working together to solve their real problems, and being 
hurt or killed or permanently made sick on the job is a real prob- 
lem for people. I think we can do a lot, and I appreciate this oppor- 
tunity to describe how we are working on that. 

[The information referred to follows:! 



88 



urn 



^mi^r- 



Clinton Administration "New OSHA" White Paper, Ballenger Bill 
Seek Similar OSHA Reform Goals 

The Clinton Administration recently announced a major "Reinventing Government" initiative 
involving significant changes at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is designed 
to address long-standing complaints about the way that agency has enforced the Occupational Safety 
and Health Act. More recently. Rep. Cass Ballenger has introduced major OSHA reform 
legislation. While the Administration's approach calls for administrative rather than legislative 
change, there is surprising similarity between the Administration white paper and the Ballenger 
proposal. A comparison of the White Paper's three sets of regulatory reform initiatives and related 
provisions from the Ballenger bill based on a House Opportimities staff summary follows: 



Clinton White Paper 

The New OSHA; OSHA will change 
its fundamental operating paradigm 
from one of command and control to 
one that provides employers a real 
choice between a parmership and a 
traditional enforcement relationship. 

Nationalize the "Maine 200" concept 
(i.e., using worksite specific data to 
help identify high-hazard workplaces; 
providing information to employers 
about effective safety and health 
programs; offering employers a voice 
in how they want to work with OSHA; 
ensuring management commitment and 
worker involvement; and modifying 
enforcement policies for high- 
performance employers). 

Focused inspections for employers with 
strong and effective safety and health 
programs. 

Incentives for employers with safety 
and health programs. 

Employee participation in safety and 
health efforts. 



Ballenger Bill Summary 

Makes the Voluntary Protection 
Program (VPP) a central part of 
OSHA's overall program and mission. 

Creates a new Voluntary Compliance 
Program (VCP) allowing certified 
individuals to conduct advisory safety 
and health review for employers. 

Exempts employers who participate in 
the VCP from random inspections for 
up to one year following the review. 

Protects and encourages employee 
participation conraiittees or plans that 
address safety and health issues. 

Encourages the adoption of voluntary 
substance abuse programs. 

Enhances protection for employees who 
bring safety and health concerns to the 
attention of the employer by beefing up 
antidiscrimination provisions. 

Encourages employers to conduct 
internal safety and health audits without 
penalty from OSHA. 



Labor Policy Association. Inc. • 1015 Fifteenth Street. NW • Washington. DC 20005 • Telephone 202-789-8670 • Fax 202-78M064 



89 



LPA Fact Sheet 



Page 2 



Clinton White Paper 



Ballenger Bill Summary 



Common sense regulation: OSHA will 
change its approach to regulations by 
identifying clear and sensible priorities; 
focusing on key building-block rules; 
eliminating or fixing out-of-date and 
confusing standards; and emphasizing 
interaction with business and labor in the 
development of rules. 

Priority pl anning process (to identify 
priorities for agency action). 

A logical framework of basic building 
blocks . 

Improve, update, and eliminate confiising 
and out-of-date standards. 



Amends OSH Act to include regulatory 
impact, risk assessment, and cost benefit 
reform. 

Requires risk assessment and costA>enefit 
analysis to be industry specific. 

Requires independent peer review of the 
economic and scientific basis for 
standards. 

Creates a petition process to review 
existing regulations. 

Improves the existing variance process 
by clarifying its use by the agency and 
employers. 



— Hazard communication and die right to 
know (focus on die most serious hazards, 
simplify material safety data sheets, 
reduce the amount of required 
paperwork, and improve the effectiveness 
of worker tr aining ) 

— New approaches to new hazards. 



ConsoUdates existing government 
programs by merging MSHA with 
OSHA, and MSHRC with OSHRC, and 
by transferring training and certification 
fiinctions of NIOSH to OSHA. 

Eliminates penalties for alleged violations 
of the general duty clause. 



OSHA's involvement in nontraditional 
sectors. 



Copyiighl ° 1993 by Ihe Labor Policy Association 



90 



LPA Fact Sheet 



Pao£ 



Clinton White Paper 

3. Results, not red tape: OSHA will change the 
way it works on a day-to-day basis by 
focusing on the most serious hazards and the 
most dangerous workplaces and by insisting 
on results instead of red tape. 

— Field office redesign— getting results and 
improving performance. 

— Strengthen OSHA's partnership with state 
programs. 

— "Quick fix": incentives for fixing hazards 
quickly. 

— Compliance assistance through information 
technology. 

— Measuring OSHA's performance. 



Balienger Bill Summary 

• Reserves at least 50 percent of OSHA funds for 
consultation, training, education, and compliance 
assistance programs. 

• Expands small business consultation program. 

• Requires trained and experienced OSHA 
inspectors with knowledge of the industry or a 
clear understanding of the types of hazard under 
inspection. 

• Requires employees who are aware of safety and 
health problems in the workplace to work with 
the employer to correct the problem prior to 
contacting the govennnent. 

• Codifies the "employee accountability" defense. 

• Provides that a citation may be vacated if 
employer can prove that alternative methods are 
equal or more effective than those required by 
OSHA. 



Gives employers Ihe opportunity to fix alleged 
safety and health violations prior to a citation. 

Specifies that a citation will be issued if a 
violation is not corrected. 

Revamps penalty system to eliminate arbitrary 
and subjective classifications. 

Bases penalties on objective formula and relates 
them to the seriousness of injuries caused by 
violations. 

Eliminates penalties for posting and paperwork 
violations unless they pose a direct threat to 
employees or the employer intentionally tries to 
mislead or deceive. 

95-130 



Copyright * 1995 by tbe Labor Policy Association 

N» pm ot As UBlyiis my be nvndiKxd ■ritbnjl pamoiun of LPA- 




91 



U.S. Department of Labor Assistant secretary lor 

Occupational Safety and Health 
Washington, DC 20210 



The Honorable Christopher Shays 

Chairman 

Subcommittee on Human Resources 

and Intergovernmental Relations 
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Room B-372 Rayburn Building 
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Congressman Shays: 

This is in further response to your November 1 letter requesting 
follow-up information to the Subcommittee's recent hearing on 
OSHA's reinvention initiatives. Several weeks ago, we sent you a 
document detailing the 17 egregious cases for which OSHA issued 
citations in fiscal year 1995. We are now providing comments on 
the summary prepared by the Labor Policy Association, Inc. (LPA) 
on Congressman Ballenger's OSHA reform bill. 

As I emphasized during the Subcommittee's hearing, there is a 
fundamental difference between H.R. 1834 and our "New OSHA" 
initiatives. The bill would force drastic changes in OSHA's 
enforcement program, diminishing essential protections and rights 
for the nation's workers. The LPA's document attempts to present 
"surprising similarities," yet their document is based on a 
committee staff summary of the bill rather than the actual 
legislative text. Thus, the comparison does not accurately 
reflect the true impact of H.R. 1834 on OSHA's ability to protect 
working men and women. Our response to the LPA's summary is 
contained in the attached table. 

I appreciated the opportunity to present the Subcommittee with 
our approach to improving OSHA's performance and effectiveness, 
and I look forward to working with you to make the "New OSHA" a 
reality. 



Sincerely, 

7^ ,^^^t^ 



Joseph A. Dear 
Assistant Secretary 



Enclosure 



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98 

Mr. Shays. You have a very difficult job. I have been noticing 
that you can get it from both sides. I think you have been a won- 
derful witness. I have tremendous admiration for the job you are 
doing, and I just want to encourage you to keep doing it. 

Mr. Green. Mr. Chairman? 

Mr. Shays. Mr. Green. 

I knew Mr. Souder's comments might bring a comment on the 
other side. 

Mr. Green. Mr. Souder, I appreciate the comment about using 
statistics, particularly in your statement. In here, the 62 percent 
was transportation, homicide or whatever. I would Uke to see those 
numbers validated, also. 

Mr. Shays. But not now. 

Mr. Green. But not now. 

Anyway, I think there are differences of opinion, but I think you 
are heading in the right direction because a lot of our frustration 
is with OSHA and sometimes Government in general. 

Mr. Dear. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Shays. I thank you very much for coming. 

I would at this time ask the second panel to remain standing, 
and they will speak in this order, Cornelia Blanchette, Lee Anne 
Elliott, and Glenn Rondeau. This is our second panel, and if you 
would remain standing. 

Are we missing a witness? I see two. I had three witnesses. Do 
we not have Glenn Rondeau? 

Are you Glenn? 

Mr. Rondeau. Yes. 

Mr. Shays. And you will be joined by someone else? 

Mr. Rondeau. Yes. 

Mr. Shays. But you will be testifying, correct? 

I am sorry. This is James Hamilton. 

Both of you will be giving testimony or one? 

Fine. I am sorry. If you would raise your right hand. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. Shays. For the record, I would note that all of our witnesses 
have responded in the affirmative. 

Please come up. Mr. Hamilton, you are in the middle there. 

Could I ask you to identify yourself for the record? 

Mr. Jeszeck. Yes. I am Charlie Jeszeck. I am the Assistant Di- 
rector for Education and Emplo3nnent with the General Accounting 
Office. 

Mr. Shays. Thank you, Mr. Jeszeck. It is nice to have you here. 
Please feel free to come forward. 

I am going to be a little more strict, even though we have fewer 
Members here now, on testimonies given. 

We will start with our first witness, Ms. Blanchette. 



99 

STATEMENTS OF CORNELIA M. BLANCHETTE, ASSOCIATE DI- 
RECTOR, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, ACCOM- 
PANIED BY CHARLES JESZECK, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, EDU- 
CATION AND EMPLOYMENT, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OF- 
FICE; LEE ANNE ELLIOTT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VOL- 
UNTARY PROTECTION PROGRAMS PARTICIPANTS' ASSOCIA- 
TION; AND GLENN RONDEAU, MANAGER OF SAFETY SERV- 
ICE, BOWATER/GREAT NORTHERN PAPER CO., ACCOM- 
PANIED BY JAMES W. HAMILTON, PRESIDENT, UNITED ASSO- 
CIATION OF JOURNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF THE 
PLUMBING AND PIPEFITTING INDUSTRY 

Ms. BLANCHETTE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, we are pleased 
to be here today to assist the subcommittee as it looks for ways to 
help OSHA to determine how it should fulfill its role in ensuring 
American workers safe and healthful workplaces. 

Since its creation 25 years ago, OSHA has made significant 
progress in achieving its mission. Today, I would like to comment 
on how employer and employee representatives view OSHA's mis- 
sion and its accomplishment of that mission as well as how OSHA 
can enhance its efforts. 

My discussion is based on work we have done over several years. 
Our work suggests that although OSHA has accomplished much 
during its fairly short history, its approaches to regulating work- 
place safety and health have sometimes been ineffective and frus- 
trating for both employers and workers. What is needed according 
to employer and employee representatives we spoke with is a great- 
er service orientation. This means improved communication with 
business and labor, including making information more accessible, 
and enhance cooperation with employers and workers throughout 
the regulatory process. 

To its credit, OSHA has begun to take some positive steps to 
change its enforcement approach. Last year, we reported on em- 
ployer and employee experiences with Federal workplace regula- 
tions, including Occupational Safety and Health standards. We 
found that both employer and employee representatives generally 
supported OSHA's mission as well as its general regulatory effort 
to implement that mission. 

However, the agenc/s enforcement strategies do not always ap- 
pear well-suited to the demands and challenges of today's work 
world. In our study of workplace regulation, we found that the em- 
ployer and employee representatives we interviewed generally be- 
lieved that: (1) communication between OSHA and firms and 
unions is poor, and OSHA does not always provide the accurate 
and complete information that firms and unions need to comply 
with OSHA's requirements; (2) OSHA relies on an adversarial, 
rigid, got-you approach rather than a more collaborative enforce- 
ment strategy; and (3) standards enforcement is unfair and incon- 
sistent, in part, due to staffs lack of knowledge of regulations and 
how those regulations apply to specific business or industry oper- 
ations. 

Given these perceptions about OSHA, it is not surprising that 
many employer and employee representatives believe OSHA needs 
to take a critical look at the way it operates. Many suggest that 



100 

OSHA could foster greater compliance by increasing the amount of 
technical assistance it provides and better educating workers and 
employers about their rights and responsibilities. Some employers 
also suggest expanding OSHA's consultation assistance and ex- 
panding outside attendance at OSHA's training institute. 

Some employers and union officials we talked to also identified 
a need for more and better-trained staff. However, given current 
budgetary realities and the large number of employers, this ap- 
proach has severe limitations. We believe that other regulatory ap- 
proaches that place greater responsibility on workers and employ- 
ers for maintaining safe and healthful workplaces show greater 
promise. 

As you can see from the suggestions that involve increasing or 
expanding existing services, OSHA has already taken some steps 
to be more service-oriented. One existing OSHA activity that ap- 
pears to have enjoyed employer support is the voluntary protection 
program. Employers we interviewed support an expansion of this 
program. Other examples of positive initiatives include the Maine 
200 program and a pilot project aimed at the expeditious abate- 
ment of workplace hazards in return for reduction in penalties. 

In summary, there is a general consensus among both the em- 
ployer and employee representatives we spoke to that OSHA con- 
tinues to play an important role in providing for the safety and 
health of American workers. Although OSHA appears to be moving 
in the right direction, it is too early to fully assess the impact of 
the agency's actions. 

In the interim, OSHA should be encouraged to continue its ex- 
perimentation with new regulatory strategies that improve its serv- 
ice orientation and foster a less adversarial regulatory climate 
while not jeopardizing the safety and health of America's workers. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement, and I will 
be happy to answer any questions that you or the members of the 
subcommittee might have. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Blanchette follows:] 



For Release on Delivery 
Expected ai 2:00 p.m 
Tuesday, Ocioher 17, 1995 



101 



United States General Accounting Office 



GAO Testimony r 

Before the Subcommittee on Human Resources *'*-^ 

and Intergovernmental Relations 

Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 

House of Representatives 



OSHA 

Potential to Reform 
Regulatory Enforcement 
Efforts 



Cornelia M. Blanchette, Associate Director 

Education and Employment Issues 

Health, Education, and Human Services Division 




GAO/T-HEHS-96-42 



102 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

We are pleased to be here today to assist the Subcommittee as 
it looks for ways to improve operations at the U.S. Department of 
Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) . 
Since its creation in 1970, OSHA has made significant progress in 
achieving its mission of assuring American workers safe and 
healthful workplaces. However, the ever-accelerating pace of 
technological change, increasing globalization of markets, and 
continually evolving employer-employee relations have created new 
demands and challenges for OSHA. You asked us to focus our remarks 
on the question: What should OSHA's role be today in ensuring 
American workers a safe and healthful workplace and how can that 
role be carried out in a cost-effective manner? More specifically, 
I would like to comment on how employers and employee 
representatives view OSHA's mission and its current strategy to 
protect workers and their perspectives on how OSHA can enhance its 
enforcement efforts. My discussion is based on work we have done 
over the years on OSHA's role in the regulation of occupational 
safety and health. (See app. I.) 

In summary, our work suggests that although OSHA has 
accomplished more than may often be acknowledged during its fairly 
short history, its current approaches to regulating safety and 
health are in some cases dated and frustrating for both workers and 
employers. What is needed, according to employer and employee 
representatives we spoke with, is a greater service orientation. 



103 



This means improved communication with business and labor, 
increased employer and worker accessibility to compliance 
information, and enhanced cooperation with both business and labor 
throughout the regulatory process. By developing alternative 
regulatory strategies that supplement and in some instances 
substitute for its often confrontational labor-intensive 
enforcement approach, OSHA may be able to carry out its statutory 
responsibilities in a more effective manner. To its credit, OSHA 
has begun to take some positive steps to change its enforcement 
approach, although it may be too early to assess their effect. 

BACKGROUND 

The Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 
1970 with the sweeping goal of 

"assuring so far as possible every working man and woman 
in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions." 

The act marked the first comprehensive, nationwide regulatory 
program to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. It requires 
employers in the private sector to (1) furnish employment and a 
place of employment that are free from recognized hazards that 
cause or are likely to cause serious physical harm or death to 
workers and (2) comply with occupational safety and health 
standards. 



104 



OSHA and the approved state-operated safety and health 
programs' set mandatory safety and health standards. Through its 
regional, area, and district offices, OSHA inspects private sector 
worksites, proposes penalties and prescribes abatement deadlines 
for employers found violating the standards or failing to meet 
their general duty to provide a safe and healthful workplace. 
Several other agencies assist OSHA in conducting its mission. The 
Bureau of Labor Statistics facilitates OSHA's enforcement by 
providing the agency with occupational injury and illness data by 
specific industry for the targeting of inspections. The National 
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, within the Department 
of Health and Human Services, is responsible for conducting 
research to assist OSHA's promulgation of new safety and health 
workplace standards. Finally, the independent Occupational Safety 
and Health Review Commission provides an opportunity for review for 
those employers who wish to appeal the penalty assessments proposed 
by OSHA. 

In fiscal year 1995, the Congress appropriated about $313 
million to OSHA, which maintained a staff of 2,323, including about 
1,900 field personnel in 107 offices. In total, federal OSHA and 



'The act permits states, with OSHA's approval, to operate their own 
safety and health programs. The performance of the state programs 
is to be "at least as effective" as OSHA, and OSHA monitors the 
state programs to assure that they perform at that level. OSHA 
provides up to 50 percent of program costs to state programs. In 
fiscal year 1995, there were 23 state-operated progretms for private 
sector employers and '2 additional states had state-operated plans 
covering only state and local government employees. 



105 



the state-operated safety and health programs had approximately 
2,000 compliance officers to enforce standards in well over 6 
million workplaces, employing about 97 million workers. 

EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES 
SUPPORT OSHA'S MISSION 

Last year we released a report that collected information 
about actual employer and employee experiences within the existing 
framework of federal workplace regulation, including occupational 
safety and health standards.^ To obtain this information, we used 
a case-study approach and interviewed a range of employers and 
employee representatives of 3 6 large and small businesses and 
employee organizations in over 20 industries with headquarters in 
16 states and the District of Columbia. Six of the employers had 
fewer than 75 workers, 12 had more than 500 workers. Nine of the 
businesses had multistate operations and 9 had some workers 
represented by a union. 

We found that both employer and employee representatives 
generally supported OSHA's mission as well as the general 
regulatory effort to implement that mission. For example, an 
official from a large retail company had a typical response, saying 



^ Workplace Regulation: Information on Selected Employer and Union 
Experiences (GAO/HEHS-94-138, June 30, 1994). 



106 



" [The Occupational Safety and Health Act] is a very 
important statute and has really contributed to the 
protection of employees in the workplace. . . . The [act] 
has really forced many corporations to chauige their 
health and safety practices in the workplace." 

A representative from a large electronics manufacturer echoed 
this sentiment, saying he was 

"... absolutely convinced that OSHA's rules have 
reduced workplace injuries and illnesses. . .. For the 
company, OSHA provides a baseline standard with which the 
firm can judge its own progrsim. " 

Union officials also supported OSHA saying that it provides a 
general baseline of protection for workers and supplements the 
protection that union members receive from collective bargaining 

contracts . 

Although we have conducted only limited formal assessments of 
OSHA's effectiveness, in at least one area, employers have reported 
positive effects from OSHA's regulation. In our nationally 
representative study' of employer perspectives on OSHA's Hazard 



' Occupational Safety and Health: OSHA Action Need ed to Improve 

Compliance with Hazard Communication Standard (GAO/HRD-92-8, Nov. 
26, 1991) and Occupational Safety and Health: Employer KxDeriences 
in Complying With the Hazard Communication Standard (GAO/HRD-92- 
63BR, May 8, 1992. ) . 



107 



Communications Standard (HCS),* one of the most far reaching and 
controversial of OSHA's regulatory efforts, 29 percent of the 
complying employers told us that they had replaced workplace 
chemicals with safer, less hazardous alternatives because of 
information they received under the regulation and 17 percent 
reported fewer workplace injuries because of the standard's 
requirements. This suggests a real improvement in the protection 
afforded to American workers. 

EMPLOYERS AND UNIONS DISSATISFIED 
WITH OSHA'S CURRENT STRATEGY FOR 
ENSURING WORKERS ' PROTECTION 

Despite support for OSHA's mission and recognition of its 
contributions in protecting workers, the agency's enforcement 
strategies do not always appear well-suited to the demands and 
challenges of today's work world. In our study of workplace 
regulation,^ we found that although firms of all sizes supported 
the need for the regulation of occupational safety and health, 
employers and workers were more concerned with how that regulation 



*HCS, issued by OSHA in 1983 to cover only manufacturing firms and 
extended in 1987 to all industries, requires the identification of 
workplace hazardous chemicals and the communication of information- 
-typically through labels or material safety data sheets (MSDSs)-- 
on these hazards to employees. It requires, among other things, 
that employers maintain a file of MSDSs on the hazardous chemicals 
they use in their business and to train their employees in the safe 
handling and use of hazardous chemicals. 

^ Workplace Regulation (GAO/HEHS-94-138, June 30, 1994). 



108 



was carried out than with the goals of the regulations themselves. 
For example, employers we interviewed generally believed that 

-- communication between OSHA and firms and unions is poor and OSHA 
does not facilitate appropriate access to complieince 

information; 

-- OSHA relies on an adversarial approach rather than a more 

collaborative strategy to enforce safety and health regulations; 
and 

-- standards enforcement is unfair and inconsistent, in part due to 
staffs' lack of knowledge of regulations and how those 
regulations apply to specific business or industry operations. 

Some employer and union representatives whom we interviewed 
reported difficulty getting information from federal OSHA or the 
state-operated OSHA programs and believed that they sometimes 
received inaccurate or incomplete information. For example, an 
official from a large oil refining company had a problem getting 
information from OSHA and said 

" maintaining the injury and illness records required by 
OSHA is largely not a problem. The difficult problem is 
determining which illnesses are OSHA-recordable 
illnesses. . . . •, We feel that we cannot get a correct 



109 



answer from OSHA on this: we can call three levels there 
and get three different interpretations."' 

Another company, a medium-sized fruit packing firm, reported 
that it made a number of informational inquiries to OSHA without 
ever receiving a response. Unions also described difficulties 
obtaining information. Officials from a local union representing 
hotel and restaurant workers claimed that they had difficulty 
obtaining information from the state OSHA regarding the inspection 
records of particular employers, even though they are public 
records . 

Our past work on HCS' also provides evidence concerning how 
the lack of information available to employers affects compliance 
efforts with OSHA requirements. We found that almost 52 percent of 
employers of all sizes in the construction, manufacturing, and 
selected service industries reported that they were out of 
compliance with at least one HCS requirement. However, about 26 
percent of all employers had little or no awareness of the 
regulation and, further, over one-half of those employers who said 
that they were aware of HCS were not knowledgeable about key 
requirements of the regulation. 



'OSHA does make information available to the public, and several 
years ago the Department of Labor began publishing a handbook on 
employer compliance requirements for OSHA and other statutes it 
enforces. 

^ Occupational Safety ■and Healt h (GAO/HRD-92-8, Nov. 26, 1991) and 
Occupational Safetv and Health (GAO/HRD-92-63BR, May 8, 1992.) 



110 



Many employers whom we recently interviewed also believe that 
OSHA's attitude concerning its enforcement efforts contributes to 
an adversarial environment and discourages more constructive 
responses to safety and health issues. For example, an official of 
a large hospital said, 

"OSHA has conducted several inspections at our facility, 
which we believe were done on a 'gotcha' approach .... 
The hospital is not allowed to interpret regulations and 
standards for the situations at hand. The standards are 
enforced too rigidly." 

Employers also believe that OSHA's enforcement is inconsistent 
across regions and that inspectors often appear to have inadequate 
training or insufficient knowledge of the work processes of a 
particular firm or industry. This was illustrated by the comments 
from an official from a large multistate manufacturer 

"The interpretation of standards by inspectors will vary 
from region to region; some are stricter than others. 
Because there is no single strict OSHA interpretation, 
inspectors can interpret the standards differently from 
state to state. We have been cited for a violation in 
one state that was acceptable in another state."' 



'Some of this inconsistency may be due to variations in practices 
across the state-operated programs as well as across different 
federal OSHA offices; 



Ill 



OPPORTUNITIES TO INCREASE OSHA ' S 
SERVICE ORIENTATION MAY EXIST 

Despite past successes, there is a growing concern that OSHA 
must take a critical look at the way it conducts its business to 
find more effective means of assuring workers a safe and healthful 
workplace. Consistent with this perspective, many employer and 
union representatives we interviewed expressed a belief in the need 
for OSHA to adopt a greater service orientation. For example, they 
suggested that OSHA make a greater effort to improve communication 
and provide more and better compliance information to both 
employers and to workers. Similar conclusions were reached in a 
recent study looking at ways to improve workplace practices and 
views of workers on workplace issues.' 

Many employer and union representatives that we interviewed 
suggested that OSHA could foster greater compliance by increasing 
the amount of technical assistance it provides and better educating 
workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. 
Some of the suggestions they made include (1) setting up toll-free 
hot-lines and computer bulletin boards to help employers and 



'In March 1993, the President asked the Secretaries of Labor and 
Commerce to form a Commission on the Future of Worker-Management 
Relations to explore, for example, the extent to which the present 
legal framework and practices of collective bargaining could be 
enhanced to improve productivity and reduce conflict in the 
workplace. The Commission issued its final report in December 
1994: Report and Recommendations: Commission on the Future of 
Worker-Management Relations . U.S. Departments of Labor and 
Commerce. 

10 



112 



workers get information, (2) establishing information offices with 
staff who would answer questions, (3) providing more education and 
outreach services, and (4) publishing newsletters on regulatory 
developments. 

Some employers also suggested expanding OSHA's consultation 
assistance and expanding outside attendance at OSHA's training 
institute.'' An official from an employee leasing company raved 

". .. The best thing about OSHA is its consultative 
service; it's one of the last of the good deals. The 
consultants are former OSHA compliance officers, so they 
are very knowledgeable about OSHA regulations." 

An official from a large oil refinery said 

"OSHA has allowed our staff to attend its training 
institute. This has been a very positive 
experience. . . . The price is reasonable, and the 
courses are excellent .... This is a good opportunity 



'"OSHA's consultation assistance is a free service available to 
employers who need help in establishing and maintaining a safe and 
healthful workplace. Assistance includes identifying and 
correcting hazards; appraising work practices; and developing and 
implementing workplace safety and health programs, training, and 
education. No penalties or citations are issued when consultants 
identify hazards and the employer's identity is not reported to 
OSHA's inspection staff. OSHA also operates a training institute 
where it provides training, primarily to agency staff, on various 
regulatory and inspefetion issues. 

11 



113 



for industry representatives to discuss issues with 
OSHA's compliance officers in a non-adversarial way." 

While some of these suggestions may be limited by existing 
budgetary constraints, they merit review and consideration. 

Another existing OSHA activity that appears to have enjoyed 
employers' support is the Voluntary Protection Progrcim (VPP) . 
Employers we interviewed supported an expansion of this progrcim, 
which is designed to recognize the success of employers who have 
integrated safety and health programs into their workplaces; who 
motivate other employers to do the saime; and who promote 
cooperation between employers, employees and OSHA. Under VPP, in 
return for management developing a comprehensive safety and health 
program and demonstrating a serious commitment to safety and 
health, participants are not subject to programmed- -targeted- -OSHA 
inspections . 

The participation of employers in VPP is completely voluntary. 
At this time, the program remains comparatively small. As of 
October 6, 1995, about 200 worksites, including both union and 
unorganized facilities, employing about 142,000 employees in about 
30 states were enrolled in VPP. Most of these participating 
worksites are in manufacturing industries, especially chemicals, 
petroleum, and high-hazard industries like paper manufacturing. , 
OSHA has stated that 'in cooperation with the employers 

12 



114 



participating in the program, it is currently exploring ways to 
improve VPP's effectiveness. 

Some employers and union officials we talked to also 
identified additional staffing resources- -more and better trained 
staff--as a means to assure the adequacy and timeliness of OSHA's 
enforcement efforts. However, given current budgetary realities 
and its relatively large number of employers--currently OSHA has 
one compliance officer for about every 3,000 employers--there are 
limitations to this approach. In the future, faced with a 
decreasing workforce, OSHA may want to better focus its enforcement 
efforts to worksites that are more hazardous in nature. In 
addition, based on our past work,'' we believe that other regulatory 
approaches that involve placing greater responsibility on workers 
and individual employers to maintain a safe and healthful workplace 
show great promise in enabling OSHA to fulfill its statutory 
mission more effectively. For example, in our review of employer 
worksite safety and health progrsims,'^ we determined that the 



''For other options to improve OSHA's enforcement, standard setting, 
and education and outreach efforts see Occupational Safety and 
Health: Options for Improving Safety and Health in the Workplace 
(GAO/HRD-90-66BR, August 24, 1990.) 

'^Worksite safety and health programs are essentially management 
systems for overseeing and controlling safety and health in the 
workplace. Components of such programs can include development of 
a written plan addressing workplace hazards and the means to 
control these hazards, worker training and education on health and 
safety, and employee involvement in the development and 
implementation of the program. OSHA issued voluntary guidelines 
for such programs in 1989 but has no regulation requiring the 
formation of such programs. See Occupational Safety and Health: 

(continued. . . ) 

13 



115 



potential reduction in injuries and illness could likely justify 
the additional burden associated with their implementation, at 
least for high-risk employers. Although we did not review their 
effectiveness, we note that four states require or encourage the 
formation of joint labor-management health and safety committees 
and several Canadian provinces rely on such committees as a 
critical component in protecting workplace safety and health." 
OSHA has issued voluntary guidelines on the formation of worksite 
programs and one of the components includes structuring employee 
participation such as labor management committees. As for 
expanding the role of employees, we identified increasing worker 
participation in OSHA's inspection process as one option to 
strengthen the role of workers in the regulatory process." 

OSHA, in some recent actions, has begun addressing the 
service-orientation and cooperative issues we have raised. For 
example, in 1993, OSHA initiated a pilot program in Maine where 
OSHA invited the state's' 200 companies with the highest number of 
injuries to conduct self-inspections to identify workplace hazards 
and to develop worksite safety eind health action plans. In return 
for such participation, OSHA would remove them from its primary 



" ( . . .continued) 

Worksite Safety and Health Programs Show Promise {GAO/HRD-92-68, 

May 19,1992.) 

" Occupational Safety and Health: Differences Between Programs in 
the United States and Canada (GAO/HRD-94-15FS, Dec. 6, 1993). 

"See Occupational Safety and Health (GAO/HRD-90-66BR, August 24, 
1990. ) 

14 



116 



targeted inspection list. About 90 percent of these firms agreed 
to participate in the program, and over the 18-month pilot period 
they detected over 95,000 hazards--three times the number detected 
during the previous 8 years of inspections. OSHA has also 
conducted a pilot project aimed at the expeditious abatement of 
workplace hazards- -abatement before an inspection's closing 
conference--in return for a reduction in penalties.^' We have not 
assessed either of these initiatives but they appear consistent 
with the goal of improving the agency's service orientation and 
fostering a more collaborative inspection process. 

OSHA has also taken steps to change its focus on penalties 
mind-set. For example, it has proposed new regulations that would 
waive penalties for any employer with up to 250 employees who is 
found to have no significant (willful, repeated, or serious) 
violations of health and safety regulations. In addition, 
employers who already have implemented a worksite safety and health 
program will qualify for another program that would allow a 
reduction in penalties for significant violations. 



"On the issue of hazard abatement, we have urged OSHA to revise its 
procedures to verify the abatement of workplace hazards by 
requiring better evidence from employers that they have taken 
action. OSHA has taken some action in this area, issuing a 
proposed regulation in April 1994, and expects to issue a final 
regulation in December 1995. See Occupational Safety and Health 
(GAO/HRD-91-35, May 8, 1991) , and Occupational Safety and Health 
(GAO/HRD-90-66BR, Aug. 24, 1990). 

15 



117 



CONCLUSION 

Based on our past work, there is a general consensus cimong 
both the employer and vinion representatives that we spoke to that 
OSHA continues to play an important role in providing for the 
safety and health of American workers. Although OSHA appears to be 
taking some steps in the right direction, it is too early to fully 
assess the impact of the agency's actions. In the interim, OSHA 
should be encouraged to continue its experimentation with new 
regulatory strategies that improve its service orientation and 
foster a less combative regulatoiry climate, while not jeopardizing 
the safety and health of America's workers. 



Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. I will be 
happy to answer any questions you or other Members of the 
Subcommittee may have. 



For more information on this testimony, please call Charlie 
Jeszeck at (202) 512-7036 or Linda Stokes at 512-7040. 



16 



118 



APPENDIX I APPENDIX I 

RELATED GAP PRODUCTS 

Department of Labor: Rethinking the Federal Role in Worker 
Protection and Workforce Development (GAO/T-HEHS-95-125, Apr. 4, 
1995) . 

Garment Industry: Efforts to Address the Prevalence and Condi tinng 
of Sweatshops (GAO/HEHS-95-20, Nov. 2, 1994). 

Workplace Recailation: Information on Selected Emplover and Union 
Experiences (GAO/HEHS-94-138 , June 30, 1994). 

Occupational Safety and Health: Changes Needed in the Combined 
Federal-State Approach (GAO/HEHS-94-10, Feb. 28, 1994). 

Health and Safety: DOE's Implementation of a Comprehensive Health 
Surveillance Program Is Slow (GAO/RCED-94-47 , Dec. 16, 1993). 

Occupational Safety and Health: Differences Between Programs in 
the United States and Canada (GAO/HRD-94-15FS, Dec. 6, 1993). 

U.S. -Mexico Trade: The Work Environment at Eight U.S. -Owned 
Maouiladora Auto Parts Plants (GAO/GGD-94-22 , Nov. 1, 1993). 

Mine Safety and Health: Tampering Scandal Led to Improved Sampling 
Devices {GAO/HRD-93-63 , Feb. 25, 1993). 

Risk-Risk Analysis: 0MB ' s Review of a Proposed OSHA Rule 
(GAO/PEMD-92-33, July 2, 1992). 

Hazardous Waste: A North Carolina Incinerator's Noncompliance With 
EPA and OSHA Requirements (GAO/RCED-92-78, June 30, 1992). 

Occupational Safety and Health: Worksite Safety and Health 
Programs Show Promise (GAO/HRD-92-68, May 19, 1992). 

Occupational Safety and Health: Options to Improve Hazard- 
Abatement Procedures in the Workplace (GAO/HRD-92-105, May 12, 
1992) . 

Occupational Safety and Health: Employers' Experiences in 
Complying With the Hazard Communication Standard (GAO/HRD-92-63BR, 
May 8, 1992) . 

Occupational Safety and Health: Penalties for Violations Are Well 
Below Maximum Allowable Penalties (GAO/HRD-92-48, Apr. 6, 1992) . 



17 



119 



APPENDIX I APPENDIX I 

Occupational Safety and Health: OSHA Action Needed to Improve 
CoTTipliance With Hazard Communication Standard (GAO/HRD-92-8, Nov. 
26, 1991) . 

Occupational Safetv and Health: Inspectors' Opinions on Improving 
OSHA Effectiveness {GAO/HRD-91-9FS, Nov. 14, 1990). 

Occupational Safetv and Health: Options for Imp roving Safetv and 
Health in the Wor)cplace (GAO/HRD-90-66BR, Aug. 24, 1990). 

Occupational Safetv and Health: California's Resumption of 
Enforcement Responsibilitv in the Private Sector (GAO/HRD-89-82 , 
Apr. 17, 1989). 

Occupational Safetv and Health: Assuring Accu racv in Emplover 
Injury and Illness Records (GAO/HRD-89-23 , Dec. 30, 1988). 

Whistleblowers : Management of the Program to Protect Trucking 
Company Employees Against Reprisal (GAO/GGD-88-123 , Sept. 22, 1988) 

OSHA's Resumption of Private Sector Enforcemen t Activities in 
California {GAO/T-HRD-88-19 , June 20, 1988). 

OSHA's Monitoring and Evaluation of State Programs (GAO/T-HRD-88- 
13, Apr. 20, 1988) . 



(205309) 

18 



120 

Mr. Shays. Thank you very much. 

Ms. Elliott. 

Ms. Elliott. Thank you. 

Good afternoon. My name is Lee Anne Elliott, and I am the exec- 
utive director of the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' 
Association. I want to thank Chairman Shays and this committee 
for the opportunity to discuss with you the Occupationsd Safety and 
Health Administration and OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs' 
positive impact that they have on improving and promoting worker 
safety and health across this Nation. 

The VPPPA commends OSHA's Assistant Secretary Joe Dear for 
his vision in recognizing the role and value of cooperative pro- 
grams, including the VPP within the agency's efforts to assure 
worker safety and health. 

Through the development of programs which encourage and rec- 
ognize employers £ind foster partnerships between the Government 
and industry, the agency has adopted a more balanced approach, 
utilizing cooperative programs in conjunction with its more tradi- 
tional enforcement efforts. 

Under Mr. Dear's leadership, the number of sites participating in 
the VPP has more than doubled to its current level of over 230 fa- 
cilities across the Nation. 

Additionally, under his direction, VPP participants and OSHA 
have become true partners in reinventing Grovemment. This effort 
was recognized this past month by Vice President Al Gore. Mr. 
Gore presented the administration's highest honor in its Reinvent- 
ing Government program, the Hammer Award, to both the VPPPA 
and OSHA's VPP division for their contributions in providing a 
Government that works better and costs less. 

The VPP is an outstanding example of how OSHA has developed 
partnerships with industry to encourage and recognize excellence 
and create models from which others can learn. Participation in the 
VPP fosters cooperation among labor, management, and the Gov- 
ernment. This partnership, one of the most frequently cited bene- 
fits of VPP participation, results from the facility's desire to go be- 
yond mere compliance, and OSHA's willingness to work with the 
site to enhance its safety sind health performance. 

Additionally, management commitment and meaningful em- 
ployee involvement promote internal cooperation between these 
groups and are fundamental to participation in the VPP. 

The VPP process shows results. VPP sites demonstrate the bene- 
fits of proactive approaches to managing worker safety and health. 
These benefits include lost workday rates that are 60-percent lower 
overall than the industry average, reduced worker's compensation 
cost, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and a coopera- 
tive relationship with the Government. 

In addition to these benefits, VPP sites are recognized as 
proactive leaders in ensuring worker safety and health. All of these 
benefits combine to further enhance VPP participants' competitive- 
ness in the global market. 

An example of these results can be seen in the success of Mobil 
Corp. During the 3-year period that Mobil brought all of its chemi- 
cal facilities into the VPP, recordable injuries fell by 32 percent. 



121 

Lost workday incidents declined by 39 percent. These reductions 
translated into financial savings of over $1.6 million. 

Mobil's Joliet refinery in Illinois reported worker's compensation 
cost of $300,000 in 1989 when it began the VPP application proc- 
ess. When the site was approved to the VPP in 1991, its worker's 
compensation cost had declined by 89 percent to $34,000. Absentee- 
ism has dropped by 25 percent, and the refinery's throughput has 
continued to exceed predictions. 

The plant also extended the VPP concepts to its waste minimiza- 
tion effort and has reduced waste outhaul by more than 50 percent. 

Another VPP site, Woodpro Cabinetry in Cabool, MO, is a small 
business with 100 employees. In 1992, before VPP participation, 
Woodpro Cabinetry had a lost time recordable rate of 22.4. The fa- 
cility was accepted into the VPP this past year and currently has 
a year-to-date lost time recordable rate of 2. 

The positive effects of the VPP reach well beyond the facilities 
that are participating in the programs. A survey conducted earlier 
this year by our organization to measure the impact on worker 
safety and health that the VPPPA and VPP sites have across the 
Nation indicated that more than three-quarters of a million em- 
ployees have been reached. 

Since this survey only included responses from one-fourth of the 
VPP sites currently participating, the numbers of employees actu- 
ally impacted, we believe, is much greater. 

OSHA also benefits greatly from its participation and involve- 
ment with the VPP. Agency representatives observe best practices 
in safety and health wWch they can then share with others as mod- 
els and use in the development of more effective standards and 
policies. 

As an example of this partnership, the VPPPA members and 
OSHA recently teamed together to train every OSHA field em- 
ployee in safety and health program evaluation. This training ini- 
tiative was an integral part of OSHA's own internal safety and 
health program. 

During this time of leveraging, of Reinventing Government, and 
redesigning Government agencies, VPP sites have taken a 
proactive approach to working with OSHA to elevate its limited re- 
sources. VPP sites and OSHA have developed several cooperative 
efforts as a result of this partnership, including the VPPPA 
mentoring program, the special Government employee program, 
pro bono assistance to small businesses, and training initiatives. 

The results of the VPP that I have shared with you today have 
been achieved at a cost to the agency of only .6 of 1 percent of its 
annual budget for 1995. With more resources devoted to these ef- 
forts, the positive impact on worker safety and health could be 
even greater. 

The VPP demonstrates the dramatic success of the power of part- 
nerships between Government and industry. The programs have 
had a profound impact on worker safety and health and play a cru- 
cial role in OSHA's reinvention effort and ability to achieve its mis- 
sion. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Elliott follows:] 



VA 



122 



VOLUN 1/U<Y PKOlECriOiN PROG1U.MS R\KriCll'.ViMS- ASSOCLVllON 




Wun/BBS to ToBI Oualily Piolectm 



TF.STTMONY OF I.FF. ANNF. EM .lOTT. KXErimVE DIRECTOR 
VOLUNTARY PROTECTION PROGRAMS PARTICTPANTS' ASSOCIATION 
RFFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SUBCOMM ITTEE ON 
HUMAN RESOURCES AND INTERGOVERNM FNTAU RELATIONS 
•OSHA: NEW MISSION FOR A NEW WORKPLACE- 
OCTOBER 17. 1995 



Good morning, my name is Lee Anne Elliott. I am Executive Director of the 
Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association (VPPPA). I would like to 
thank Chairman Shays and this Committee for the opportunity to discuss the positive 
impact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Voluntary 
Protection Programs (VPP) have on improving and promoting safety and health at 
worksites across the nation. 

The VPPPA, a non-profit organization, is a leader in safety, health and environmental 
excellence through cooperative efforts among labor, management, and government. 
The members of the VPPPA are sites which are either participating in or have applied 
to participate in OSHA's VPP or the Department of Energy's VPP. 

The VPPPA commends OSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Dear for his vision in 
recognizing the role and value of cooperative programs, including the VPP, within the 
agency's efforts to assure worker safety and health. Through the development of 
programs which encourage excellence and foster partnerships between government and 
industry, the agency has adopted a more balanced approach that utilizes cooperative 
programs in conjunction with its more traditional enforcement efforts. 

Under Mr. Dear's leadership, the number of sites participating in the VPP has more 
than doubled to its current level of 230 facilities. Additionally, under his direction, 
VPP participants and OSHA have become true partners in reinventing government. 
This effort was recently recognized by Vice-President Al Gore. He presented the 
administration's highest honor in the reinventing government program, the Hammer 
Award, to both the VPPPA and OSHA's VPP Division for their contributions towards 
providing a government that works better and costs less. 

The VPP are an outstanding example of how OSHA has developed partnerships with 
industry to encourage and recognize excellence and create models from which others 
can learn. Participation in VPP fosters cooperation among labor, management, and 
government. This partnership, one of the most frequently cited benefits of VPP 

7600-E leesbuts Pike ■ Suite 4*) ■ Falk Oiuidi, VA 22043 • Telephone (703) 761-1146 FAX 003) 761-1148 



u 



123 



participation, results from the facility's desire to go beyond mere compliance, and 
OSHA's willingness to work with the site to enhance its safety and health performance. 
Additionally, management commitment and meaningful employee involvement promote 
internal cooperation between these groups and are fundamental to participation in the 
VPP. 

The VPP process shows results. VPP sites demonstrate the benefits of proactive 
approaches to managing worker safety and health. These benefits include lost 
workday incidence rates that are 60 percent lower than the industry average, reduced 
workers' compensation costs, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and a 
cooperative relationship with the government. In addition to these benefits, VPP sites 
are recognized as proactive leaders in protecting worker safety and health. All these 
benefits combine to further enhance VPP participants' competitiveness in the global 
market. 

An example of these results can be seen in the success of Mobil Corporation. During 
the three year period that Mobil brought its chemical plants into the VPP, recordable 
injuries fell 32% and lost workday cases declined by 39%. These reductions translated 
into fmancial savings of more than $1.6 million. Mobil's Joliet refinery in Illinois 
reported workers' compensation costs of $300,000 when it began the VPP application 
process in 1989. When the site was approved into the VPP in 1991, its workers' 
compensation costs had decreased 89%, to $34,000. Absenteeism has dropped 25%, 
and the refinery's throughput has continued to exceed predictions. The plant also 
extended VPP concepts to the Waste Minimization effort and reduced waste outhaul by 
45%. 

Another VPP site, Woodpro Cabinetry in Cabool, Missouri, is a small business with 
100 employees. In 1992, before VPP participation, Woodpro Cabinetry had a lost time 
recordable rate of 22.4. The facility was accepted into the VPP this year and currently 
has a year to date lost time recordable rate of 2.0. 

The positive effects of the VPP reach well beyond the sites participating in the 
programs. A survey conducted earlier this Spring to measure worker safety and health 
impact the VPPPA and VPP sites have on employees across the nation indicated that 
more than three-quarters of a million employees have been reached. Since this survey 
only includes responses from one-fourth of the VPP sites, the number of employees 
actually impacted is much greater. 

OSHA also benefits greatly from its involvement with VPP sites. Agency 
representatives observe best practices in safety and health which they can then use as a 



7600-E Leesburg Pike ■Suite 440 FaUs Church, VA 22043 ■ Telephone (703) 761-1 146 FAX (703)761-1148 



124 



model to share with other employers and use in the development of more effective 
standards and policies. As an example of this partnership, VPPPA members and 
OSHA recently teamed together to train every OSHA field employee in safety and 
health program evaluation. This training initiative was an integral part of the agency's 
redesign efforts. 

During this time of reinventing government and redesigning government agencies, VPP 
sites have taken a proactive approach to working with OSHA to leverage its limited 
resources. The VPP sites and OSHA have developed several cooperative efforts as a 
result of this partnership, including the VPPPA Mentoring Program, the Special 
Government Employee (SGE) program, pro-bono assistance to small businesses, and 
training initiatives. 

I would like to briefly expand on two of these programs. The VPPPA Mentoring 
Program assists worksites that are seeking assistance in developing or improving their 
safety and health programs. This effort is open to all worksites, and many go on to 
apply for VPP participation. An example of this program is an effort between OSHA, 
Exxon Chemical and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist small 
businesses with safety and health. Exxon Chemical in Linden, New Jersey, a VPP site, 
will mentor a group of four small businesses simultaneously as they each apply for VPP 
approval. More than 50 worksites have been assisted through the VPPPA Mentoring 
Program, which equates to safer and more healthful workplaces for more than 71,000 
employees. 

The SGE Program allows OSHA to leverage its resources by using qualified VPP site 
personnel for VPP onsite reviews at other facilities. While it is important for OSHA 
to maintain the leadership role in the VPP application process, this concept is evidence 
of the trust and partnership between VPP participants and OSHA. 

The results of the VPP I have shared with you today have been achieved at a cost to 
OSHA of only six-tenths of one percent of its 1995 annual budget. With more 
resources devoted to these efforts, the positive impact on worker safety and health 
could be even greater. 

The VPP demonstrate the dramatic success of the power of partnerships between 
government and industry. The programs have had a profound impact on workplace 
safety and health, and play a crucial role in OSHA's reinvention efforts and ability to 
achieve its mission. Thank you. 



760O-E Leesburg Pike ■ Suite 440 Falls Church, VA 22043 ■ Telephone (703) 761-1 146 FAX (703) 761-1 148 



125 

Mr. Shays. Thank you very much. 

Glenn Rondeau. 

Mr. Rondeau. Good afternoon. Mr. Chairman and members of 
the subcommittee, my name is Glenn Rondeau. I am manager of 
safety services for Great Northern Paper located in Northern 
Maine. 

Joining me on my left is Jim Hamilton, president of Local 485, 
United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumb- 
ing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, and 
who is a fellow employee at Great Northern. 

We are deeply honored to be invited to speak before this commit- 
tee and discuss an innovative worker safety program that was the 
first of its type in the United States and involved the courage and 
trust of our company, our unions, and OSHA. 

Our testimony before you is aimed at describing how a prescrip- 
tion for safety was developed within a company that suffered from 
the pressures of downsizing and hostile takeovers in a rapidly 
changing economic climate. 

Great Northern Paper is almost 100 years old. It is comprised of 
two pulp and paper mills, a saw mill, the largest private hydro sys- 
tem in the United States, and just over 2 million acres of land in 
the State of Maine. 

Through the years, its success was legendary throughout the 
pulp and paper industry. It was widely known for its quality paper 
products and dedicated work force, employing over 4,200 workers 
in the early 1980's. It was at this time that the company began to 
undergo change. 

Great Northern's parent company began diverting capital for ex- 
pansion to other States where opportunity was perceived to be bet- 
ter. The two mills in Maine began to age. Pressure to reduce costs 
led to wave after wave of reductions in the work force. Great 
Northern's parent company was the victim of a hostile takeover in 
1990. The new parent company shopped off Great Northern selling 
the Maine operations to Bowater, Inc., at the start of 1992. 

To employees, it was the third owner in 3 years, and employment 
that had been over 4,000, 8 years earlier, had already dropped to 
2,000, with more layoffs on the way. Morale was poor among both 
union and salaried workers who perceived an uncertain future. 

At the time Bowater purchased Great Northern in 1992, a union 
president filed a complaint with OSHA that a previous safety con- 
dition brought to the attention of Great Northern 10 years earlier 
had not been addressed. The complaint was more a cry for help 
than to cripple the company. 

Through all the turmoil of the 1980's and early 1990's, safety had 
suffered, and with it, trust. The union president who has since re- 
tired wanted, along with the other unions, not to bring the new 
owners of the company to its knees, but to have OSHA motivate 
us. 

Bowater had purchased Great Northern for the long term. It 
wanted to invest in its new properties and its work force without 
having to be fined for a violation it knew nothing about. It became 
clear to OSHA, the unions, and to Bowater that the typical wall- 
to-wall inspection was not the preferred path. 



126 

Here was an opportunity to try something new that would cor- 
rect safety deficiencies and help restore cooperation and trust with 
all concerned. OSHA was looking for an employer who was willing 
to form a unique partnership with a Federal agency and with orga- 
nized labor. The old carrot and the stick approach needed to be 
changed. Great Northern Paper was a perfect setting for the exper- 
iment. 

OSHA, our unions, and representatives of the company sat down 
in 1992 and formulated a local emphasis program, or LEP-200, 
now known as the Maine 200 program. The goal was simple. Bring 
all of our facilities into safety compliance. 

We developed a force that at one time exceeded over 150 to 160 
people who are divided into teams that search for problems and 
then fix them. Every inch of our vast facilities were inspected. 
Every item identified as a potential or real safety problem was 
tracked by a complex computerized tracking system to assure that 
item was corrected. Progress reports were given to OSHA. This 
year, we expect the entire program will be completed. 

Our employees have identified nearly 30,000 different items, and 
we are on target to correct all of them. The cost to date has gone 
over $32 million. At one point, we were spending about $250,000 
per week. The value of this unique LEP-200 program has gone far 
beyond improving safety. It has become the foundation of a new re- 
lationship between Great Northern, its unions, and OSHA. Our em- 
ployees and management will soon apply for OSHA's Voluntary 
Protection Program with the expectation of becoming, if not the 
first, among the first of the pulp and paper companies in the State 
of Maine to achieve that status. 

The LEP-200 experience has shown us all that we have a cooper- 
ative partnership with OSHA instead of the adversarial relation- 
ships of the past. Most importantly, safety has been established as 
a continuing high-priority item by all involved. This unique pro- 
gram has benefited Great Northern with its unions, and our experi- 
ence and success in involving them with the LEP-200 effort was 
the blueprint for dealing with other issues. 

After the LEP-200 program was established, we received the co- 
operation of our unions in finding ways to reduce our operating 
costs by millions of dollars. 

Our employees are now leading the way at developing goals and 
a mission for our company. They are redefining how our mainte- 
nance of our mills should be carried out. Our employees are now 
actively involved in plotting the future of Great Northern Paper. 

This summer, this new spirit of cooperation and trust that had 
begun with OSHA's encouragement was best demonstrated when 
the company and the unions quickly and peacefully inked new 6- 
year labor agreements. 

At this point, my colleague, Jim Hamilton, has a very brief state- 
ment on behalf of the unions at Great Northern Paper, and then 
we would be honored to answer any questions that you or others 
on the subcommittee may have. 

Jim. 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. Let me just say, Mr. Hamilton, I am 
sorry I didn't recognize that, of course, you are on my program to 
give testimony. I appreciate you being here. I realize that you are 



127 

co-partners in this effort, and we will be asking questions of you, 
just as we will the others here. Thank you for being here. 

Mr. Hamilton. Thank you, Mr. Shays. 

I am very honored to be here, and my statement, all 14 union 
presidents at Great Northern have reviewed and concur with the 
statement you have just heard. An attachment of our signatures 
accompanies the document of testimony depicting the actual events 
and reflects the cooperative effort which all have been involved. 
This includes OSHA, Great Northern Paper Co., Bowater, Inc., the 
unions, employees, and management. 

Mr. Shays, if you will allow me time, I would like to read this 
into the record. It is very short. 

Mr. Shays. You may definitely do that. 

Mr. Hamilton. Thank you very much, sir. 

"Honorable Christopher Shays and distinguished members, we, 
the undersigned 14 union presidents have read the attached docu- 
ment of testimony to be presented by Mr. Glenn Rondeau and Mr. 
James Hamilton on October 17, 1995. We are in agreement and 
have indicated by our signatures the attached document of testi- 
mony in good faith depicts not only the actual events historically, 
that it is accurate testimony which embodies and reflects the coop- 
erative effort of which all have been involved, namely, OSHA, the 
company Great Northern paper Company, Bowater, Incorporated, 
with operations in Millinocket, East Millinocket, and Ashland, 
Maine, to include all employees, union, and management." 

I would like to present this copy to you of the original signatures 
of this committee, and thank you very much. 

[The prepared statements of Messers. Rondeau and Hamilton fol- 
low:] 



128 



HR. CHAIRMAN AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 

WE ARE DEEPLY HONORED TO BE INVITED TO SPEAK BEFORE YOU ON OCTOBER 17, 1995. 
THIS DOCUMENT PACKAGE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING RELATED TO OUR TESTIMONY: 

INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS 

COPY OF OUR ORAL PRESENTATION 

COPY OF OUR MOST RECENT QUARTERLY REPORT TO OSHA (dated August 8, 1995 
without attachments) 

COPY OF OUR RECENT IN-HOUSE NEWSPAPER 

COPY OF OUR "GNP FACTS" 



INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS: 

One of the concerns that is read in the media regarding opposition to volunteer 
programming as opposed to traditional programming is that volunteer programming 
may look good on paper, but they do not have OSHA's presence on the shop floor. 

The Maine LEP 200 Program does not operate that way. It involves OSHA from the 
outset and throughout the process in a true partnership with on-site monitoring 
visits. Quarterly and other reports, training sessions and meetings. 

The following information will give a good representation of how this program 
has worked for the betterment of all. We are proud of what we have accomplished 
in a short 2+ years through this program and are committed to the continuation 
of this success and harmony. 

This success would not and could not have been accomplished with traditional 
OSHA techniques of enforcement with stiff penalties. Such techniques motivate 
on a short term only and while they may produce media headlines, they do not get 
at the true causes of accidents in most cases. Furthermore, traditional 
inspections force time consuming attention on those subjects on which OSHA can 
support citations in litigation, which is time and money consuming as well. 

The volunteer approaches avoid this and enable everyone to work in harmony 
concentrating efforts in those areas where the efforts and monies vill do the 
most good in terms of accident prevention. It enables prioritization and 
innovation rather than simply complying with the codes. And the process teaclies 
and builds trust while creating long term program effectiveness.. 



129 



When Bowater purchased Great Northern Paper in 1992, it was recognized that the 
safeness of the facilities and programs would need to be rebuilt. Bowater was 
faced with another more important problem than fixing these, and that was 
remotivating the people and restoring their confidence in themselves as well as 
earning their trust. 

Faced with an OSHA complaint filed by one of the Union Local's President, the 
Unions, Company and OSHA could have taken the traditional approach and allowed a 
wall-to-wall inspection to take place. Such an inspection would have revealed 
a number of the problems (but not all) and would have resulted in multi-million 
dollar penalties in addition to the cost of fixing the identified problems. 

Such an approach would have been less expensive than the thorough approach taken 
but, the process certainly would not have created harmonious relationships, 
which is what everyone wanted. Plus the new owner wanted to invest and rebuild 
and this meant find and correct not just some, but all of the problems; and 
create trust that will result in an energized and empowered workforce who will 
take the Company into the next century. This is what is occur ing at Great 
Northern Paper. 

Ue are deeply grateful to OSHA, our Unions and our employees for the courage to 
try a new approach. Ue encourage it to be adopted nationwide as it has worked, 
is working and will continue to work to continuously improve our operations as 
well as other employers participating in the Maine LEP 200. We are proud of our 
results, outlined in this report, and encourage similar voluntary programs. 

Thank you for inviting us to tell our story. We look forward to meeting with 
you and assisting you on October 17th and beyond as you and/or others desire. 

On behalf of Great Northern Paper and our fellow employees, we trust that we 
will be of assistance to you. 



Sincerely, 



-g-<*-»t 



£2^ 



Glenn L. Rondeau, C.S.P. 
Manager of Safety Services 
and Liason for the LEP 200 
for Great Northern Paper 




nes W. Hamilll 
yresident. Local A85 
United Association of Journeymen and 
Apprentices of the Plumbing and 
Pipefitting Industry of the 
United States and Canada 



130 



TESmSHiT BEFORE COHSRESSIONAL SOBCOHMITTEE ON 
HOISUI RESOORCES AHD INTERGOVERlOfENTAL RELATIONS 
BT GLENN L. ROIDEfta AND JAMBS H. HAHILTGH 
OCTOBER 17, 1995 
HASHINGTGN D.C. 



GOOD HORNIBG. MR. CHAIRMAN AHD MBMRBBR Qp THE SDBCaiHITTEE MT NAME IS (3.001 L. 
RGNDEAO, MANAGER OP SAFEIT SERVICES FOR GREAT HCKIHERN PAPER LOCATED IH MUHMIKHH 
MAINE. JOimtlG ME IS JAMBS H. HAMILTaN. PRESIDEHT OF LOCAL 485 ONITED 
ASSOCIATION OF JOORNEYMEN AND APPRENTICES OF TOE PLDMBINS AND PI PHFlT T im 
INDUSTRY OF THE DNTTED STATES AND CANADA AND NHO IS A FELLOM EMPLOYEE AT (StEAT 
N0R3SERN. 

HE ARE DEEPLY HONORED TO BE INVITED TO SPEAK BEFCHtE THIS CGHMITTEB AND DISCUSS 
AN INNOVATIVE WORKER SAFETY PROQIAM THAT HAS THE FIRST ITS TYPE IH THE ONITED 
STATES AND INVOLVED THE COURAGE AND TROST OP ODR CGHPANY, ODR OHICHS AHD OSH&. 

OOR TESTIMONY BEFORE YOD IS AIMED AT DBSCRIBIIIS HOH A PRESCRIPnOH FOR SAFETY 
HAS DEVELOPED HITHIM A COMPANY THAT SUFFERED PROM THE PERILS OF DOHNSIZING, 
HOSTILE TAKEOVERS AND A RAPIDLY CHANGING BCQNQMIC CLIMATE. 

OlEAT NORTHERN PAPER IS ALMOST 100 YEARS OUJ. IT IS COMPRISED OF TWO PULP AND 
PAPER MILLS, A SAWMILL, THE LARGEST PRIVATE HYDRO SYSTEM IN THE ONITED STATES 
AND JUST OVER TOO MILLION ACRES OF LAND IN MAINE. THROOOi THE YEARS ITS SUCCESS 
WAS LEGENDARY THROUGHOUT THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY. IT HAS HIDELY KNOWN FOR 
ITS QUALITY PAPER PRODUCTS AND DEDICATED WORKFORCE QIPLOYING OVER 4200 WORKHIS 
IN THE EARLY 1980'S. IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT THE COMPANY BEGAN TO UNDERGO 



131 



CHANSE. GREAT NORTHERN'S PARENT CCWPANT BEGAN DIVERTING CAPITAL FOR EZPANSIGB TO 
OTHER STATES WHERE OPPORTUNITY HAS PERCEIVED TO BE BETTER. THE THO MILLS IN 
MAINE BEGAN TO AGE. PRESSORS TO REDUCE COSTS LED TO WAVE AFTER HAVE OR 
REDDCTIONS IN THE WORKFORCE. GREAT NORTHERN'S PARENT CCMPANT HAS THE VICTIM OF A 
HOSTILE TAKEOVER IN 1990. THE NEM PARQIT COHPANT SHOPPED OFF GREAT NORTHERN 
SELLING THE MAINE OPERATIONS TO BOHATER INCORPORATED AT THE START OF 1992. TO 
QIPLOYEES IT HAS THE IHIBD OWNER IN THREE YEARS AND EKPLOYHQIT THAT HAD BEQI 
OVER 4,000 ElCar YEARS EARLIER HAD DROPPED TO 2,000 WITH MORE LAYOFFS OH THE 
WAY. MORALE WAS POOR AHONS BOTH DNIGN AND SALARIED WORKERS WHO PERCEIVED AH 
UNCERTAIN FDTDRE. 

AT THE TIME BOHATER PORCHASED GREAT NORTHERN IN 1992, A UNION PRESTDBIT FIJuED A 
COMPLAINT WITH OSHA THAT A PREVIOUS SAFETY C(SO)ITiaN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTIGH OF 
OtEAT NORTHERN 10 YEARS EARLIER HAD NOT BEEN ADDRESSED. THE CCSfPLAINT WAS MORE A 
CRY FOR HELP TBRS TO CRIPPLE THE COIPANY. ISROUra ALL THE TURMOIL OF THE ISBO'S 
AND EARLY 1990'S SAFETY HAD SUFFERED AND WITH IT TROST. THE UNICai PRESIDENT (WHO 
HAS SINCE RETIRED) WANTED ALQNS WITH THE OTHBl UNIONS NOT TO BRING THE NEW 
OWNERS OF THE COMPANY TO ITS KNEES BUT TO HAVE OSHA MOTIVATE THEM. BOWATER HAD 
PURCHASED GREAT NORTHERN FOR THE LONG TERM. IT WANTED TO INVEST IN ITS NEW 
PROPERTIES AND WORKFORCE WITHOUT HAVING TO BE FINED FOR A VIOLATION IT KNEW 
NOTHING OF. IT BECAME CLEAR TO OSHA. THE UNIONS AND BOWATER THAT THE TYPICAL 
WALL TO WALL INSPECTION WAS NOT THE PREFERRED PATH. HERE WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO 
TRY SOMETHING NEW THAT WOULD CORRECT SAFETY DEFICIENCIES AND HELP RESTORE 
COOPERATION AND TRUST WITH ALL CONCERNED. OSHA WAS LOOKING FOR AN EMPLOYER WHO 
WAS WILLING TO FORM A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEDERAL AGEUCY AND WITH 
ORGANIZED LABOR. THE OLD CARROT AND THE STICK APPROACH NEEDED TO BE CHANGED. 
GREAT NORTHERN PAPER WAS A PERFECT SETTING FOR THE EXPERIMENT. 



132 



OSHA, OOR UNIONS AND REPRESENTATIVES OP THE CGMPANT SAT DOWN Di 1992 AND 
PORHOLATED A liOCAL QIPHASIS PROGRAM OR LEP-200 PROQUUI. IBE GOAL WAS 
SIMPLE— BRING ALL OF OOR FACILITIES INTO SAFETY COMPLIANCE. WE DEVELOPED A FORCE 
THAT AT ONE TIME EXCEEDED 163 PEOPLE WHO WERE DIVIDED INTO TEAMS THAT SEARCHED 
FOR PROBLHfS AND TBOSE THEN FIXED THHf. EVERY INCH OF OOR VAST FACILITIES WERE 
INSPECTED. EVERT ITQl IDENTIFIED AS A POTQITIAL OR REAL SAFETY PROBLEM HAS 
TRACKED BY A COMPLEX CQMFOTEBIZED TRACKBIG SYSTQI TO ASSDRE THE ITEH WAS 
CORRECTED. PROGRESS REPORTS WERE GIVQI TO OSHA. TBIS YEAR WE EXPECT THE Qll'lKE 
PROGRAM WILL BE CGHPLETED. 

OOR QIPLOYEES HAVE IDENTIFIED NEARLY 30 imXISAND DIFFERENT VTBSS AND WE ARE ON 
TARGET TO CORRECT ALL OF IBEM. THE COST TO DATE HAS GCBIE OVER $32 MILLION. AT 
ONE POINT WE WERE SPENDINS $250 IBOOSAND PER WEEK. THE VALUE OF TEIS USIQUE 
LEP-200 PROGRAM HAS GONE BEYOND IMPROVING SAFETY. IT HAS BBCOfE THE PODNDATION 
OF A NEW RELATIONSHIP BEINEHI GREAT NORTHERN, ITS OHECNS AND OSHA. OOR EMPLOYEES 
AND MANAGEMENT WILL SOON APPLY FOR OSHA'S VOLONTARY PROTECTION PROGRAM WITH THE 
EXPECTATION OF BECOMING THE FISST PULP AND PAPER COIPANY IN MAINE TO ACHIEVE 
THAT STATUS. THE LEP-200 EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN OS ALL THAT WE HAVE A COOPERATIVE 
PARTNERSHIP WITH OSHA INSTEAD OF THE ADVERSARIAL RELATIONSHIPS OF THE PAST. MOST 
IMPORTANT SAFETY HAS BEEH ESTABLISHED AS A CONTINUING HI(S PRIORITY ITQl BY ALL 
INVOLVED. 

THIS UNIQUE PROGRAM HAS BENEFITED GREAT NORTHERN WITH ITS UNIONS. OUR EXPERIENCE 
AND SUCCESS DJVOLVIMG THH* WITH THE LEP-200 EFFORT WAS A BLUEPRINT FOR DEALING 
WITH OTHER ISSUES. AFTER THE LEP-200 PROGRAM WAS ESTABLISHED WE RECEIVED THE 
COOPERATION OF OUR UNIONS IN FINDING WAYS TO REDUCE OUR OPERATING COSTS BY 



133 



MILLIONS OP DOLLARS. ODR EMPLOYEES ARE NOW LEADING THE WAY AT DEVELOPHIS GOALS 
AND A MISSION FOR OUR CXBIPANY. TBE1 ARE REDEFINING HOW MAINTENANCE OP OOR MILLS 
SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT. OUR QIPLOTEES ARE NOW ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN PLOTTIIIG THE 
FUTURE OP GREAT NORTHERN PAPER. THIS SUMMER. THIS NEW SPIRIT OF COOPERATKXI AND 
TRUST THAT BEGAN WITH OSHA'S ENCOURAGQfENT WAS BEST DQJONSTRATED WHEN THE 
COMPANY AND THE UNIONS QUICKLY INKED NEW, SIX YEAR LABOR AGREEMENTS. 

AT THIS POINT, MY COLLEAGUE JAMES HAMILTON HAS A VERY BRIEF STATEHENT ON BEHALF 
OF THE UNIONS AT GREAT NORTHERN AND THEN WE MOULD BE HONORED TO ANSWER ANY 
QUESTIONS YOU OR OTHERS ON THE SUBCOMMITTEE MAY HAVE. JIM. 

(STATEMENT OF JAMES HAMILTON) 

ALL 15 UNION PRESIDENTS AT GREAT NORTHERN HAVE REVIEWED AND CONCUR WITH THE 
STATEMENT YOU HAVE JUST HEARD. AN ATTACHMENT OF OUR SIQIATURES ACCGHPANIES THE 
DOCUMENT OF TESTIMONY DEPICTIMG THE ACTUAL EVENTS AND REFLECTS TBE COOPERATIVE 
EFFORT OF WHICH ALL HAVE BEEN INVOLVED. THIS INCLUDES OSHA, GREAT NORTHERN 
PAPER, BOWATER INC., THE UNIONS, EMPLOYEES AND MANAGEMENT. 



134 



TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

COMMITTEE ON 

GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 

2157 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 21515-6143 



135 



HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER SHAYS AND DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS 

OF THE SUBCOMMnTEE ON HUMAN RESOLTRCES AND 

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 

104TH CONGRESS 



HONORABLE MEMBERS, 

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED 14 UNION PRESIDENTS HAVE READ THE 
ATTACHED DOCUMENT OF TESTIMONY TO BE PRESENTED BY MR. GLENN 
RONDEAU AND MR. JAMES HAMILTON ON OCTOBER 17, 1995. WE ARE IN 
.AGREEMENT .-VND HAVE INDICATED BY OUR SIGNATURES THE .ATTACHED 
DOCUMENT OF TESTIMONY IN GOOD FAITH DEPICTS NOT ONLY THE 
ACTU.\L EVENTS HISTORICALLY, THAT IT IS ACCURATE TESTIMONY 
WHICH EMBODIES AND REFLECTS THE CO-OPERATIVE EFFORT OF WHICH 
ALL HAVE BEEN INVOLVED, NAMELY, O.S.H. A., THE COMPANY (GREAT 
NORTHERN PAPER CO., BOWATER INC., WITH OPERATIONS IN 
MHUNOCKET, east MILLINOCKET, and ASHLAND MAINE.) TO INCLUDE 
.ALL EMPLOYEES, UNION AND MANAGEMENT. 



MR. H. JOHN DAVIS 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 12 
P.O.BOX 1158 
MILLINOCKET. MAINE 04462 



MR. DOUG ALLEY 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 24 
49 LINCOLN STREET 
MILLINOCKET, MAINE 04462 



MR. TERRENCE LYON 

PRESIDENT, LOCAL 37 

P.O. BOX 292 

EAST MILLINOCKET, MAINE 04430 



MR. GALEN HALE 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 152 
HCR 86 BOX 2234 
MEDWAY, MAINE 04460 




j^eyy^^\^e,'>,^<-<Xy jHo^^v^ 



A^l / 




136 



MR..DAN MCGILUCUDDY 

PRESIDENT, LOCAL 658 

40 ORCIL\RD STREET 

XmiTNOCKET. MAINE 04462 Pg^ rU C<^Uuo<Ji^ /jtLl' 



MR. BRUN TEDFORD 
PRESIDENT. LOCAL 1612 
HCR 86 BOX 43A 
MEDWAY. MAINE 04460 

MR. JOEL NEAL 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 156 
PO BOX 517 
MILLINOCKET, ME 04462 

MR. JAMES NISBETT 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 362 
8 PALM STREET 



Qj/ry""— 



7^^ 




8 PALM STREET V k V /> N / 

EAST MILLINOCKET, ME 04430 J, ^^^-*^->- /^.i^i*."tly/A< 



MR. BRENT KELLEY 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 69 
BOX 202 
SHERMAN STATION, ME 04777^ 

MR. ROBERT FARRINGTON 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 261 
HCR 86, BOX 195 
MEDWAY, ME 04460 

MR. TIMOTHY SMYTH 
BUSINESS AGENT 
LOCAL 567 UNIT 1 
51 NEW HAMPSHIRE STREET 
MILLINOCKET, ME 04462 

MR. ALAN HIGGINS 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 192 
1 10 MINUTEMAN DRIVE 
MILLINOCKET, ME 04462 




k<yUAyr r&y}yU^yia/,jF. 




j^^^^ 



137 



MR. ROBERT CUNNINGHAM 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 549 
1 KNOWLES AVENUE 
MILO. ME 04663 /r^^JKl^ /Y> /^.^>>/^>feg<^fc>,^ 



MR. JAMES IL^MILTON 
PRESIDENT, LOCAL 485 
RT. I BOX 401 
GLENBURN, ME 04401 




flttA>.xlM/^ft^w.>^ 



GREAT NORTHERN PAPER. INC. 

One Kaianoin Avenue 

Millmockei. ME 04462- 1398 

■ 207) 723-5131 

Subsiaiary of Bowaier Incorporatea 



138 

August 8, 1995 



Mr. C. Villiam Freeman 

Area Director 

USDOL-OSHA 

202 Harlov Street, Room 211 

Bangor, Maine 04401 

Dear Mr. Freeman: 

Pursuant with CFL 2.1A, attached is our Quarterly Report dated August 8, 1995. 

Please note in particular that this report contains detailed information 
concerning our status of Process Safety Management (PSM), Ergonomics, Digester 
Safety Relief, ISO 9002 and more. 

The recent months have been a turning point in our programs and more 
importantly, in our relationships. Our hourly and salary employees, all of us, 
are working more closely in team atmospheres on a day-to-day basis. Many new 
committees and expanded membership of others are steadily causing improvements. 

Our efforts continue to utilize employees who would have been laid off to do our 
abatement work, and ve are currently increasing our efforts of implementing 
participative management vith extensive employee involvement. Our employees are 
very actively involved in our ISO 9002 and Cost Assessment projects, and we are 
all excited about the levels of energy being displayed. As noted in the 
attached report, our labor/management safety committees have made big strides 
since the last Quarterly Report and streamlined the process of developing GNP 
Divisional safety policies. Ue are confident, with all of this energy, that we 
will reach our P-200 goals in 1995, and be ready for VPP status. 

If you have any questions pertaining to the attached report and its appendix 
items, please do not hesitate to call. 

Sincerely yours, 

■ Robert U. Martin, 

Manager of Manufacturing 

end 

Distribution list on next page 



139 



Distribution: 






R. 


Caron 


J. 


Martin 


R. 


Dickinson 


M. 


Mckeague 


E. 


Doody 


D. 


McNeil 


R. 


Grondin 


P. 


Noddin 


F. 


Knaut 


R. 


Pepin 


J. 


Koller 


G. 


Rondeau 


R. 


Kuran 


G. 


Smith 


G. 


Manuel 


B. 


Stetson 


G. 


Manuel 







Safety Survey Teams 
All Union Locals Presidents 
Executive Safety Council - West. 
Mutual Safety Committee - East 
Safety Committee - Pinkham 
Safety Committee - Voodlands 



140 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -1- 
August 8, 1995 



SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTIOW 

This document will serve to meet the requirements of the OSHA Augusta Area 
Office CPL2.1A, which requires quarterly progress reports under paragraph GSf. 
The format vill address the four requirements of that paragraph as follows: 

- Status of baseline comprehensive survey, 

- Status of activities addressing survey concerns, 

- Status of the development of the comprehensive safety and 
health plan described in the Action Plan, and 

- Year-to-date incident rates for each facility; West Operations, 
East operations, Pinkham Lumber and Woodlands, using columns 2, 3, 
4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 from the OSHA 200 Log of Injuries and 
Illnesses. Note that employee numbers are also included. These 
numbers indicate an increase due to seasonal employees coupled with 
the reduction of salary workforce not yet fully achieved at this 
time. 

Each section will be discussed separately and the Action Plan submitted on 
March 26, 1993 will be used as a point of reference. 

SECTION TWO - UPDATES 

The liaison for the Top Two Hundred program is: 

Glenn Rondeau, CSP, Manager Safety Services 
Great Northern Paper CompcUiy, Inc. 
One Katahdin Avenue 
Millinocket, Maine 04462 



141 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -2- 
August 8, 199S 



SECTION THREE - STATUS OP BASELINE COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY 

ONE HILL CONCEPT FOR WEST AND EAST OPERATIONS 

As reported in the last quarterly report, we are considering the West and East 
Operations as "one mill with a long walk between" and the management structure 
has been reorganized to reflect this. For the purposes of the TOP 200 Program 
reporting to you, we will continue to treat the two locations separately for 
statistical tracking and completion of HITs as we have in the past. 

West Operation 

The recent months have been a turning point in our programs and relations at 
Vest. The Committees are full of energy and are addressing their subject 
areas (topics and location areas) on a dynamic basis. In summary, things are 
getting accomplished with enthusiasm and with ever-increasing employee 
involvement. 

The downsized Safety Survey Team (SST) continues to work toward total 
completion of the SST audit phase at West. The remaining SST is comprised of 
two hourly workers from the original SST reporting to Glenn Rondeau. The 
audit is essentially complete at West with all "new" items charged against 
operations rather than the OSHA P-200 Project. The abatement effort continues 
forward. There are now contractor and GNP personnel involved full time in 
the abatement effort which is over 99% complete. The miscellaneous remaining 
items are being addressed through the Maintenance Department. 

East Operation 

The original structure of the SST at East continues to be one supervisor and 
two hourly SSTs. Their follow-up audit continues. There has been 
approximately 28 GNP personnel assigned to the abatement effort at East 
Operation and that effort is approximately 96% complete. Some fix-it 
employees have been assigned to the East Operation fix-it effort instead of 
being laid off and the total number of fix-it employees is 19. 

Pinkham Lumber 

The audit is essentially complete at Pinkham and repair work is ongoing with 
more than 992 of the identified work having been completed. Work is being 
done by existing employees. 

Woodlands 

The Woodlands Operation, principally their offices and maintenance 
headquarters in Hillinocket, has been surveyed, approximately 65 HIT'S 
identified and they have all been abated. 



142 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -3- 
August 8, 1995 

Project Status 

The status of each team jind each facility as a whole is delineated in the 
charts included herein. In order to prepare this report for timely 
submission, data vas revieved to create the charts and graphs belov. Data was 
used for these documents from reports for the dates listed belov. 

West and East Operations and Pinkham Total HIT Information Summary - 
Week Ending July 28, 1995. 

Total HIT Summary by Team for East and West Operations - July 28, 1995 

Using a recordkeeping start date of October 15, 1992, the West Operation is 
currently in the 145th week of the project; and a recordkeeping start date of 
December 1, 1992, the East Operation is in its 139th week of the project and a 
recordkeeping start date of January 1, 1993, Pinkham is in its 13Ath week of 
the project. 

Progress charts for all three facilities are included in the Appendix of this 
report. The legend delineates which lines are the "actual" number of HIT'S 
and which are the "estimated" number of HIT's from the beginning of the 
survey. 

The charts indicate progress to date. West is significantly ahead of its 
projected HIT's identified and is on track with the number of HIT'S repaired. 
The charts for East and Pinkham may be somewhat deceiving since the "Actual" 
lines appear to be behind schedule. This reflects the change in thinking 
sometime ago to be more attentive to correcting HIT's than to generating 
"numbers". Multiple HIT's were combined on single work orders which has made 
the charts look behind schedule even though they are likely on track with 
original estimates. In addition, the number of HIT'S anticipated are 
substantially higher than first projected. The original estimate for West was 
for 6,000 HIT'S and the total now stands at 14,295 with many HIT's including 
multiple items. The HIT's ID line has flattened out as the survey has been 
completed and the program is now in the abatement mode. Likewise for East, 
the original estimate was for 9,500 HIT's and the actual total now stands at 
13,771 which is up from the 13,732 reported in April. Please use the tables 
included here and the charts provided in the Appendix for a complete 
representation of the progress of the project. 

The identification aspect of the project at West and Pinkham are essentially 
complete, but it is certain that additional HIT'S will be identified and for 
that reason their percent of completion is stated to be 99%. 

Total HIT Information Summary (As of July 28, 1995) 

West Act West Est East Act East Est Pinkham 

Total Active HIT's 146 1 485 100 

Total Completed HIT's 14,149 14.949 13. 286 9,400 965 

Total HIT'S to Date 14,294 14,950 13,771 9,500 965 

'/. HIT'S Abated 99X 99.9% 96.4% 98.9% 99% 



Guarding 


Electrical 


Fire 


Ind Hyg 





132 


2 


13 


4,575 


6,728 


2,419 


388 


4,575 


6,860 


2,421 


401 


99. 9X 


98. U 


99. 9Z 


96. 8X 


99X 


99Z 


99X 


992 



Guarding 


Electrical 


Fire 


Ind 


m 


88 


386 


2 




9 


2,991 


8,889 


857 




548 


3,079 


9,275 


859 




557 


97. U 


95. 8X 


99. 8Z 




98. 4Z 


99X 


99X 


99X 




99X 



143 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -4- 
August 8, 199S 

Total HIT Suamary by Team For West Operation (As o£ July 28, 1995) 

Total Active HIT'S 
Total Completed BIT'S 
Total HIT'S to Date 
X HIT'S Abated 
Z Completion Survey 

Total HIT Suamary by Team For East Operation (As of July 28, 1995) 

Total Active HIT'S 
Total completed HIT'S 
Total HIT'S to Date 
X HIT'S Abated 
X Completion Survey 

Based on discussions with August Area Office, we are not supplying a summary 
report US DOL - OSHA P-200 Progress Report as was submitted previously. The 
same data is still being tabulated and can be used for future reports, if so 
needed and/or desired by you. 

Appendices provided with this report include the following: 

- Graphs for each facility titled Actual vs. Estimated HIT'S ID'd and 
Fixed 

- A table titled Great Northern Paper P-200 Timetable 

- Charts titled OSHA Incident Rates by Location and Lost Time Case 
Incident Rates by Location and Severity Rates by Location . 

- OSHA Injury/Illness record keeping log - 200 for East, West, Pinkham 
and Woodlands for 1995. 

- Employee Evacuation Alarm System Schedule Timetable (ITEM G) 

- Ergonomics Plan Update (ITEM I) 

- Process Safety Management (PST) Projects Status (ITEM J) 

Emergency Response Table Top Drill Agenda (ITEM U) 

- Safety Systems Evaluation (Bowater's self-examination status report 

ITEM BB) 

- ISO 9002 (ITEM CC) 

- Workplace Hand Accident Prevention (WHAP!) sample (ITEM DD) 

- Batch Digester Safety Relief Report (ITEM HH) 



144 



Top Tvo Bundred Quart«rly Report Page -5- 
Auguat 8, 1995 

The Actual vs. Estimated tables are explained above. The P-200 Timetable is 
provided as an overview of the total Safety and Health effort regarding 
identification and abatement of hazards, implementation of programs and long- 
term capital projects. This timetable was originally presented in the Action 
Plan and was updated in previous reports. The modifications to the time line 
frame for East and Vest vas extended to the end of the second quarter of 1994. 
Ve found more concerns that need evaluating than ve estimated and this takes 
time; even though ve are ahead of schedule for total HIT'S. A complete review 
at both East and Vest had concluded completion of the survey vas possible by 
the end of June 1994, and that occurred. In order to accomplish this, ve 
assigned (5) extra people from the Vest Operation to the East Operation, 
bringing the total to eight (8) for their survey. Additionally, ve have 
assigned employees from the Vest Operation to assist in the fix-it portion at 
East to speed up the overall completion, to occur on or before December 31, 
1995. Our commitment to this date continues and it looks like ve vill complete 
ahead of schedule. Therefore, ve reverted back to our original completion 
date at East of September 30, 1995. 

The information described and/or delineated above represents documentation for 
items 91 and #2 under paragraph (G)(S)(f) to address the status of the hazard 
identification survey amd corrective actions. 

Several charts in the appendix compare incident rates by location. The 
specific incident rate numbers are provided as a table and are also graphed. 
These are followed by copies of our year-end OSHA Injury/Illness Logs. Note 
these are reviewed annually to ensure accuracy. Also, please note that ve 
have included in this report for the first time, charting of our dovnward 
trends on severity of our injuries. These rates are down substantially. 

Other appendix items are the Timeline for the Employee Evacuation Alarm (Item 
G in this Report >, Ergonomics Plan (Item 1), Process Safety Management ^PSM) 
Projects Status (Item J). 

As you are aware, ve have curtailed some of our operations. There vere 689 
HIT'S associated vith these operations that vere placed on hold folloving an 
initial review of the "to be curtailed operations." As the shutdown 
operations are cleaned up and/or stripped, further review is conducted to 
determine which, if any, of these HIT'S need to be addressed as veil as any 
situations created by the curtailment that may need a HIT and these are being 
resolved. Each of the 689 inactive HIT'S associated vith ths curtailed 
operations have been tracked in the statistics reported elsewhere in this 
report until they are resolved. If you desire further information or have 
questions, please call. 

Please be aware that ve have recently concluded negotiations vith our Trades 
and UPIU bargaining groups resulting in a six-year labor contract -ith each oc 
the Trades and UPIU Union locals. Additionally, our organization has 
reorganized as previously discussed. '.'« are in a transition stage at present 
cime and vill be for awhile on both ot these subjects. 



145 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -6- 
August 8, 1995 

SECTION FOUR - STATUS OP COMPREHENSIVE SAFETY AND HEALTH PLAN 

The original Action Plan addressed the overall problem of "culture" within the 
company where safety aind health had been not as high of a priority under 
previous owners and continues to be brought to a level of paramount importance 
with Quality and Productivity. This concept is presented by the Bowater 
success triangle with Safety as the platform for the other two sides - Quality 
and Production. (See Appendix) To change the way people have worked for years 
and, more importantly, to change their attitude continues to be a difficult 
and time consuming task. In addition to dealing with the employment cutbacks, 
safety programs aimed at affecting a cultural change will continue to be a 
focus in 1995. 

A major negative factor in changing the culture has been the employment 
cutbacks and the effect they have had on morale, as we have discussed. The 
P-200 Program is very costly with the extensive numbers of HIT's to abate and 
other efforts. Some continue to see this as extravagant spending in view cf 
jobs being lost. Offestting these aspects has been the reorganizational 
changes coupled with the ratification of the labor agreements and the 
extensive safety committee involvements & empowerment. There is a genuine 
feeling of optimism that is spreading on a daily basis and morale is getting 
better. 

Also when changing cultures and implementing safety as a condition of 
employment rather than an option, there is a certain amount of resistance to 
be expected. There have been cases in the past where this resistance had been 
severe enough to warrant discipline of the involved employees. As stated in 
the last Quarterly Report, there has been a decrease in this area. There 
continues to be threat of employee complaints to OSHA, however. To offset 
these factors, safety efforts continue to be increasingly more visible and 
many employee assistance and outplacement programs continue to be conducted to 
prepare and assist those employees laid off and their families. Also, the 
various safety committees are gaining in membership and frequency of meetings 
and the resourcing of these committees by Safety Services staff, although very 
time-consuming, is assisting in the "buying into" the changes. 

A number of the issues that were presented in the Action Plan and previous 
quarterly reports will be discussed to give an update of where they stand. 

1. Safety Organization 

Page 11 to 14 of the Action Plan describe the establishment of a company-wide 
safety organization and a significant tool, the Personal Health and Safety 
Manual, that will help to make it work. The GNP Health and Safety Board (MSB) 
previously established and in the organizational stage did not succeed as 
envisioned. A new HSB was being created smaller in size, and considered to be 
more efficient and successful, it was decided not to have this HSB at all, but 
rather to empower the individual site location "central safety committees" to 
have abilitity to work collectively making the HSB unnecessary. 



146 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -7- 
August 8, 1995 

The crev level health and safety assistance is established and good results 
are being realized with area safety committees in place at Vest and a similar 
structure at East. Efforts are ongoing to enhance their effectiveness euid 
establish the crew level safety person(s). The slow approach continues to be 
necessitated by the fact that there has been continuous job turnover and 
vacations throughout the Spring and Summer. All areas at Vest now have area 
safety committees meeting on a weekly basis to resolve their area concerns 
'With good results. East also has an area safety concept in place. 

Additionally, we now have in place sub-committees or Teams of the East and 
Vest "central safety committees". These Teams meet at their location and 
collectively to resolve/develop activities and policies withing their scope of 
function. They do this for their location individually and collectively for 
the Division. This activity replaced the the GNP HSB concept, which has been 
dropped as stated above. The safety committee teams are fast becoming the key 
ingredient of GNP safety systems programming and that is what is desired. 

The Personal Health and Safety Manual is being distributed to all employees 
since January 20th. The safety and health pocket guide, that will serve as an 
overview of safety and health policies for the whole facility will be 
distributed to employees, contractors, vendors and visitors. It is to be 
titled "Bowater/GNP Safety and Health Pocket Guide." Target is November 1995. 

2. Program Status 

The status of several programs discussed in the Action Plan are as follows: 

A. Hearing Conservation - Exposure surveys are complete for all 

facilities. All workers monitored have been notified in writing of the 
results of the survey and all those not monitored were notified of 
their representative exposures through departmental postings. The 1993 
"Noise Hazards" directive has been re-emphasized and will soon be 
reissued to all facilities. It directs the use of hearing protection 
in all production and associated areas and also lists areas that will 
be double hearing protection required. Of equal importance is the 
fact that the directive includes procedures for ensuring that 
Workplace exposures are monitored, controlled and/or abated. Plans 
addressing abatement, where needed, will be put together in Fall of 
1995 on a case-by-case basis. Update monitoring has been done and 
will continue to be done as needed on new, retrofitted or otherwise 
changed facilities and periodically to ensure they are current. 

During calendar 1995, the audiometric testing program continues to be 
improved with all employees being offerred audiometric evaluations. A 
testing van was brought on-site in July to facilitate this. Any 
deficiencies vith baseline audiograms will be corrected and a new 
recordkeeping procedure will be implemented. 



147 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -8- 
August 8, 1995 

Hazard Cooununication ^rogrsun - Chemical inventories have been 
completed for some time with current HSDS's now obtained for all three 
facilities. The collection process is ongoing and is 99Z complete for 
the West Operation, 99X complete for the East Operation and nearly 
100% complete for Pinkham Lumber. 

Our intent is to distribute MSDS's by computerized system as you know. 
The request has been approved and Digital Equipment Company or DEC has 
been on site and is working up the implementation. Equipment and 
software is installed and the MSDSs are being data entered into the 
computer. On-line capability is expected in October/November. In the 
interim, any requests for MSDS's are referred through the safety and 
environmental departments and the SST where the master inventory of 
MSDS's currently resides. 



training and labeling and train-the-trainer has been done. The E-*^ 
Com startup labeling and other materials have been received and 
overall training of all employees began January 20th at Vest 
Operations began at East Operations on March 31st. Installation of 
placards and labeling is ongoing at both Vest and East locations with 
Vest further along than East. 

The New Chefflical Approval and Substance Evaluation Request Form is 
working well. Any new product, including free samples, must be 
approved by three departments - safety, environmental and purchasing - 
before it can be brought into the facility. This new system continues 
to prevent the introduction of new products that would introduce high 
hazard chemicals. The system underwent its six-month review in June, 
and improvements were made. Further improvements are being made as we 
implement the EZ Com system. 

Process Pipe and Tank Labeling - This program continues to be done 
utilizing in-house labor, and is steadily progressing to completion, 
although slower than if we used contractors. Ue continue with our 
desire to utilize our employees so that they learn their areas while 
placing the labels. The West Operation and the East Operation are 
both working towards completion. Many areas are complete, but there 
continues to be work needed elsewhere as information labeling is 
improved. This is an on-going subject as replacement of damaged or 
deteriorated labels will always be needed. 

Related to this is the work being done in subjects of confined space, 
lockout tag-out, and general identification improvements of equipment 
controls, etc. Several approaches are being used to provide highly 
visible and easily read and understood labels or identification 
plates. 



148 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -9- 
August 8, 1995 



C. Confined Space - This program experienced additional review and 
upgrading in 1994. All confined spaces were revisited to make certain 
the appropriate spaces were reviewed and correct hazard determinations 
are being made. Extensive training took place in March, April and May 
just prior to a cold shutdown at the East Operation to get as many 
supervisory and other personnel involved as possible. The training 
was very well received and has led to many employees questioning the 
work to be done in areas that may be confined spaces before they do 
the work resulting in improvements. This program is working much 
better than before. Pinkham has also received review attention. 

In March, we began another review of the written Confined Space and 
Lockout /Tagout policies. This review by the safety committees and 
others was extensive and resulted in updating these policies to be 
followed by further employee training on the updates. This is taking 
place with the schedule to be completed prior to our Fall cold 
shutdown. 

D. IH Exposure Monitoring - All questionable operations have been 
monitored at Pinkham Lumber and there are no exposures requiring 
additional monitoring other than periodic remonitoring, which is being 
done. A baseline IH monitoring survey is essentially complete at West 
and East involving all areas for contaminants including total dust, 
welding, solvents, acids and caustics, indoor Air quality (lAQ) 
concerns, asbestos, washup/locker rooms, hydrogen sulfide, sulphur 
dioxide and miscellcineous unique situations. Questionable exposures 
are dealt with on a case by case basis with planned programming 
calling for overall annual review to ensure baseline updating as 
needed. This overall policy, hoped to be finalized in Summer, 1995, 
with the monitoring itself being on-going on a scheduled as well as 
"as needed" basis, will be finalized in Fall. The monitoring is 
on-going and as needed and is progressing on schedule. 

The same type of baseline survey was completed at the East Operation 
and the Uest Operation and remonitoring/unique monitoring continues as 

well. 

All workers monitored are advised of their exposure as soon as the 
results are available. Uhen all results are in for a given department 
or area, all results are posted so that all workers can see what the 
results are. All results are available to all employees through the 
Medical and Safety Departments. 



149 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -10- 
August 8, 199S 



Asbestos - Asbestos abatement (removal or encapsulation) o£ the heater 
houses at the Vest operation is complete. The heater houses remaining 
have had all asbestos containing material removed and have been sealed 
off since they are out of service. $3.5+ million has been spent to 
abate highly friable and/or high hazard asbestos situations. The 
asbestos management program is undergoing complete review to identify 
improvement opportunities at East and Vest and future direction. This 
continues to be reviewed and implementation of several changes are 
close to being announced. These will be reported when announced. 
Staff updates since the April Quarterly Report include Hal Boynton, 
Asbestos Coordinator for Vest Operations attending Asbestos Project 
Supervisor Course, and Ben McLaughlin is the Asbestos Coordinator at 
East. 

Inspection Programs - There have been substantial accomplishments in 
this area. A Safety Fact Sheet has been issued to all supervisors 
with the requirements for area inspections of the following items that 
are asterisked below. The others will follow soon. 

Emergency Respiratory Protection 

Emergency Showers and Eyewashes * 

Fire Exting^uishers * 

Hose Reels * 

Stretchers * 

Emergency Lights * 

Hoisting/Rigging Equipment 

Mobile Equipment (forklifts and motor vehicles) * 

Exits, including passageways and aisles 

Compressed Gas Cylinders & Related Equipment 

Pipe Insulation/Labeling 

Ladders, Scaffolds, Associated Equipment 

Floor Loading 

Railroad Trackage on Company Property 

Lighting 

Plant Facilities Grounds 

Specific Equipment such as portable welders 

Specific Subjects such as temporary wiring 

Lockers/Rest rooms 

Heat Stress/High Heat Jobs * 

Emergency Rasponse HAZMAT 

Ergonomics Programming 



Using a combination of checklists or inspection tags affixed to each 
individual piece of equipment, each department continues to assume 
responsibility for the equipment in their area. 



150 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -11- 
August 8, 1995 



For example, all fire extinguishers have been accounted for and 
renumbered to make identification and tracking easier. An inventory 
of extinguishers for each department has been made available so that 
each department can be responsible for their own inspections. Plastic 
inspection tags are placed on each extinguisher and punches are issued 
to the inspector for that area who punches the tag as the inspection 
progresses. This is part of a much larger effort to make each work 
area responsible for the equipment in their own area. Audits of the 
inspection procedure verify that it is working properly and 
documentation will be on file for future reference and guidance. 
A goal of this program is for routine Inspections to be well 
documented as to what is needed to be done and by who/what group. 
Such an overall listing with instructions is being prepared and is 
being circulated as a 2nd Draft for comments. 

There have been many accomplishments to accompany this part of the 
program. The following is a list of some of those accomplishments. 

- Computerized maps of areas of the mill have been developed with all 
emergency equipment located on them. Evacuation routes are as well. 
Emergency equipment includes fire extinguishers, stretchers, showers 
and eyewashes, SCBA's and emergency respiratory protection. This part 
of the project is ongoing. A sample copy of the maps was included in 
the March 1994 quarterly report. These maps have also been produced 
for our East Operations. 

Separate from the above maps are Pre Fire Planning Maps which are the 
above maps with additional information added to them such as specific 
instructions unique to the building or its contents, locations of 
chemical storage, roofing that contains asbestos, locations of fire 
doors and other data that is important to emergency response 
operations/responders. We have completed these for West Operations and 
are working on them at East Operations and Pinkham Lumber. 

- Safety Fact Sheets for inspections have been developed and are being 
distributed that will be used at the departmental level to assist in 
each department being responsible for their own area. Each piece of 
equipment is tagged with a plastic monthly inspection tag and each 
department will "sign out" a punch to punch the tag as the inspection 
is being conducted. This will enable us tc keep track of who is 
responsible for the inspection and to audit the programs 
effectiveness. A copy of a Safety Fact Sheet has been included as an 
item in the appendix in previous reports. 

- Related to inspections is a new computerized "Tickler Program" to 
ensure equipment is looked at and serviced on a regular basis. This 
Preventive/Predictive Maintenance Programming is being developed for 
both East and West Operations. Development is done vith goal of all 
being tracked and controlled by computer. 



151 



Top Tvo Hundred Qtiarterly Report Page -12- 
August 8, 199S 



- The Safety Coordinators for the Vest and East Operations participate 
in the daily staff meeting (including Saturday, Sunday and Holidays) 
with their Manufacturing Manager. It is largely their input and daily 
reinforcement coupled with Plant Engineering's PM work that is helping 
these Inspection programs to proceed and succeed. Additionally, other 
meetings are held with East and Vest manufacturing managers on safety 
matters. Several meetings with all supervisors have also been held 
and more will be on a continuing basis at least monthly. The 
reorgamization has "flattened" the tvo mills into "one mill" which 
enables better connunication between the tvo locations. Currently, 
during the building transition of the structure, ve are already 
reaping the benefits of these changes which will foster consistency 
and efficiency in what ve do. 

G. Emergency Evacuation and Alarm System - A new alarm and evacuation 
system for the West Operation is currently being installed with 
completion intended by the end of 1994. The system was modified some 
which delayed full implementation of the system which will be compl<*te 
by mid-June 1995. This system is upgradeable as the mill changes to 
make the implementation of the system as cost effective as possible. 
Part of this system are pagers that will be carried by members of the 
Emergency Response Groups, ie: Confined Space Rescue Team, Fire 
Brigade, HazMat Team, Medical, Environmental, and Safety Services 
Groups. The system has been tested and the pagers are being 
distributed to all Vest location responders at this time. East's 
pagers are ordered but not yet received. They will be distributed 
by end of August. The system provides for automatic computerized 
tracking of all group call-ups. 

H. STOP Program - The Vest Operation is continuing with DuPont STOP 

(Safety Training Observation Program) for all employees, and East is 
doing the advanced version of STOP. The expansion of this program by 
taking pictures of situations involving unsafe conditions and unsafe 
activity continues. The pictures are brought to the East and Vest 
morning staff meeting to both help educate front line supervision and 
to show the relative degree of success throughout the mill. Vith the 
safety supervisor from the mill and/or SST representation, the 
pictures have become an effective tool that helps get the point across 
and promote continuous improvement. These photo efforts are again 
being increased due to their successful educational and oversight 
functions. 

An additional effort in this area is Employee Assistance Training. 
This training has been given to supervision and management to raise 
their sensitivity awareness and skill sets in conjunction uith 
curtailments at GNP and will continue indefinitely yith additional 
subjects added. 



152 



Top Two Hundred Quarterly Report Page -13- 
August 8, 1995 



In 1994, a program on Workers Compensation was also given to all 
supervisors stressing the importance of thoroughly investigating and 
documenting all incidents for reasons of accident prevention and 
fairness to both employee and company. This program was given again 
in January as a make up for those who missed it. As can be imagined, 
the curtailments and job turnovers have resulted in a lot of employees 
(including supervisors) working with distracted minds, and we are 
constantly on the alert for this. Investigations are one such vehicle 
where true causes are sought out for why the incidents have occurred 
so that we can take steps to prevent the next one. All levels of 
incidents, including Near Miss, are investigated. 

I. Ergonomics - As previously reported, we have been expanding our 
efforts in areas of Ergonomics. To date, these have included 
comprehensive examination of entry jobs per ADA, education of 
employees and engineering approaches on a sporadic basis at all GNP 
facilities. At East, ve are expeuiding their committee and we have 
put in place similar committees at other facilities. As communicated 
previously, our plan for accomplishing our GNP Ergonomics programming 
has seen furnished to you (see appendix in the previous and updated in 
this quarterly report). Ve are doing alot of Ergonomics work. 
Recruitment to the teams, training and actual implementation has 
occurred as specified in the plan. Ve also continue devoting our 
resources in other areas such as reorganizations within our Company 
(explained in opening comments of this report), Process Safety 
Management, training of employees displaced by the curtailment of 
operations (primarily at Vest), updating safety progrsunming associated 
with this and in general, addressing the myriad of day-to-day issues 
of conducting our business in a survival mode. There have been and 
there will be more changes in 1995/1996 that will affect jobs and 
tasks, and, ve are committed to the attached Ergonomics Plan. 

As part of the ergonomics subject, the Teams are surveying all jobs 
and tasks for discomfort to gain further information to help in 
evaluating the previous survey information and ergonomic assessment of 
the job/ task. This survey's results will assist the Ergonomic Teams 
in their further evaluations of these jobs/tasks. 

J. Process Safety Management - The program continues. Our increased 

efforts during 1994/1995 have resulted in compliance. A status report 
and charting of each PSM project is included in the appendix of this 
report . 

Note that in our efforts to meet the September 30, 1994 deadline date, 
we decided that, based upon considerable research, the processes in 
our MgO and Sulfite operations at the Millinocket facilities did 
not/could not produce or emit sufficient quantities of Sulfur Dioxide 
to be included under the requirements of the 29 CFR 1910.119 standard. 
Therefore, ve removed it from such coverage of the September 30th 
deadline. This has been previously communicated to you, as also our 
intents to essentially continue doing the 14 elements specified by the 
standard on these two processes at our own pace to be completed by 



153 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -14- 
August 8, 1995 



June 30, 1995. tou have agreed with our position and plan and, also, 
in your letter of November 8th, reminded us of our responsibilities to 
complete the program. 

Our commitment remains to this goal and progress continues. As the 
timeline chart in the appendix shows, the boycott by the union of the 
effort at MgO has ended and ve are making very good progress. Ve are 
realizing, however, that more work, thsm previously believed is needed, 
and to complete this work additional resources and time will be 
needed. Ve assessed what this means in terms of time and resources 
and determined that we will need until January 1, 1996. Tou advised 
that ve do not need to complete a Petition for Modification of 
Abatement Date so one is not being submitted. Please advise if this 
will be needed. This applies only to our PSM programming on processes 
which are not covered by 29 CFR 1910.119, and specifically the MgO and 
Sulphite processes at Vest Operations. 

Heat Stress Management - An initial heat stress screening survey has 
been conducted at both the Vest and East Operations. This survey is 
only intended to be a baseline and serves as the basis for the 
development of an ongoing heat stress management policy and further 
testing in different areas of the mill during different seasons of the 
year. Equipment is in place to monitor activities and this has been 
and will continue to be ongoing with increased monitoring taking place 
during the warm weather months. 

Safety Policies - Existing safety and health policies have been 
collected, are under review for updating, and are being reintroduced 
as this process continues. These will be issued to all employees in a 
condensed format eventually, but this project is going much slower 
than expected due to all that is going on. One major policy is 
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) which includes a new prescription 
safety glass program (has been implemented since the last Quarterly 
Report). Eye protection is worn locker-to-locker and the Company 
provides the protection. This includes providing one pair of 
prescription safety glasses every two years to any employee wearing 
prescription eyewear. 

Record Keeping - Employee databases, the inventory information for 
fire extinguishers, emergency respirators and confined spaces is now 
computerized as are all of the noise exposure, IB exposure, heat 
stress and chemical inventory data. The remaining inventories are 
also being computerized as are schedules for inspections and medical 
monitoring such as audiometric testing and pulmonary function testing, 
respirator fit testing (now done with TSI Portacounts) , before ue are 
through. The general intent is to make the computer track required 
dates and time tables to keep things on schedule once they get on 
track. Training records are also computerized. This continues. 



154 



Top Two Hundred Qiiarterly Report Page -15- 
August 8, 199S 

N. Bloodborne Pathogen - This program was previously communicated in the 
correspondence of September 24, 1993 and was reviewed and 
updated/reissued in 1994. It is again being reviewed at this time and 
will be updated as needed. 

0. Process Releases of Chemicals - This subject has already been 

addressed in the previous quarterly report, dated December 3, 1993. 
This is also related to item J. Process Safety Management and item U, 
Emergency Response. 

P. Radiation Safety - This program was updated in the December 3, 1993 
correspondence. More was reported in the last Quarterly Report: 

- Storage - There currently are two sites in the U.S.A. that are 
accepting radioactive waste. One is in Washington State, the 
other is in South Carolina. These sites have set up 
geographical boundaries from which they will accept waste. 
Because of this, we can't ship to either of these facilities. 
When we send a source to a disposal broker such as Texas 
Nuclear, the broker stores the waste themselves. Vhen a site 
opens up that they can ship to, they will permanently dispose 
of the waste. A request for quotation was generated in March 
of 1995, to acquire a disposal broker to facilitate the 
removal of radioactive waste sources from our property. 



Q. L.P. Gas Safety - The compressed gas storage and handling issue 

continues to be reviewed. The new outside storage area for the East 
Operation located by the Training Center is working well. West 
Operations maintains a number of storage areas throughout the 
facility. These areas utilize either storage containment cages or 
cylinder storage racks with safety chains and are primarily used to 
store empty fork truck cylinders. Empty cylinders are picked up by 
the yard department and transported to the stores dept. where they are 
filled by an outside vendor and restocked for future use. Cylinders 
are also filled on-site at the Old Finishing room due to the frequency 
of cylinders changes. Since last Quarterly Report, Safety Services 
and West Operations Fire Chief met with our LPG supplier to review 
concerns. Both supplier and GNP are addressing these concerns 
through SOPs and training of both groups' employees. 

R. Long Lead Abatement Items - There were several long lead time 

abatement items that were discussed in the Action Plan. The following 
is an update for those items. 

a. Roof Structural Integrity - This issue vas reported on in 
the September 24, 1993 correspondence. The survey is complete and 
appropriate action has been/is being taken. 



155 



Top Tvo Hundred Quarterly Report Page -16- 
August 8, 1995 

b. Washer Building Substation - The Authorization Request 
(AR-funding authorization) has been approved and completion is 
expected by December 31, 1995. 

c. Digester Building Roof - This project was completed in early 
summer, 1994. 

d. West Emergency, Fire & Evacuation Alarm System - Contractors 
began the installation during February and work continues in progress. 
The system will be implemented fully by September, 1995 on this Phase 



156 




SUCCESS TRIANGLE 



157 



SAFETY comes first. Without it, there is no way 
to protect the people who create GNP products. 




QUALITY comes next. Without it, there is no way 
to sustain the customer's need for GNP products. 




PRODUCTION comes next. Without it, there is no means 
to create the economic return required to sustain the 
entire GNP organization. 




158 



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159 



GREAT NORTHERN PAPER DIVISION 

OSHA PROJECT 

OSHA TOP 200 PROJECT 

PILOT PROGRAM - 1993 

* ONLY IN STATE OF MAINE 

* PATTERNED AFTER VOLUNTARY PROTECTION 

* TOP 200 = EMPLOYERS WITH MOST WORK COMP 

* GOAL IS ACCIDENT REDUCTION 

* MOTIVATOR IS THREAT OF INSPECTION TO JOIN 

HOW IT WORKS 

* EMPLOYER IS INVITED TO JOIN 

» APPLY TO PROGRAM AND MAYBE BE INSPECTED 

♦ IF NO APPLICATION, INSPECTION GUARANTEED 

* INSPECTIONS TO BE SELECTED OFF LISTS 

♦ INSPECTIONS SEPARATE FROM COMPLAINTS, ETC. 

♦ INSPECTIONS CLASSED AS ROUTINE 

♦ RANDOM BASIS FROM TWO LISTS - A AND B 

♦ A LIST THOSE WHO AREN'T IN PROGRAM 

♦ B LIST EMPLOYERS IN PROGRAM 

♦ 1 B LISTED FOR EVERY 4 A LISTED INSPECTION 

♦ PENALTIES 

♦ A LISTED EMPLOYERS - MAXIMUM 

♦ B USTED EMPLOYERS - NONE WHILE PROGRESSING 

- HEAVY IF NOT PROGRESSING 

♦ SET PROGRAM OF WHAT THE EMPLOYER IS TO DO 

♦ PROGRAM IS FORMALLY APPROVED BY OSHA 

♦ GREAT NORTHERN PAPER FIRST ONE APPR0\T:D 



160 

GREAT NORTHERN PAPER DIVISION 

OSHA PROJECT 

OSHA TOP 200 PROJECT continued 

PROGRAM ESTABLISHED THAT THE EMPLOYER MUST FOLLOW 

* EMPLOYER MUST BE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE 

* OSHA TO HELP ESTABLISH PROGRAM WITH UNION/CO 

* PROGRAM MUST BE FOLLOWED UPON APPROVAL 

* CONTAINS SPECIFIC LANGUAGE AS TO DATES. ETC. 

* QUARTERLY PROGRESS REPORTS TO OSHA 

* OUR FIRST REPORT DUE IN JULY, 1993 

* REPORT TO OUTLINE SPECIFIC PROGRESS ON ITEMS 

* TIMETABLES CAN BE ADJUSTED 

* CAN'T BE ARBITRARY IN REQUEST 

* REQUEST MUST BE APPROVED BY OSHA 

* PROGRAM LENGTH 3 YEARS TO COMPLETE - ESTIMATE 

TOP 200 PROGRAM 

* TO BE EXPANDED TO NEXT LEVEL OF 200 EMPLOYERS 

* TO BE EXPANDED NATIONALLY - OSHA'S GOAL 

* PUTS EMPLOYER IN POSITION FOR ACCEPTANCE TO THE 
VOLUNTARY PROTECTION PROGRAM UPON COMPLETION OF 
THE TOP 200 PROGRAM 



161 



GREAT NORTHERN PAPER COMPANY 
OSHA LEP P-200 PROJECT 



IDENTIFY - DETERMINE RESOLUTION - TAG WITH HIT - VffilTE W.O. 
(SAFETY SURVEY TEAMS - SSTs) 



SAFETY MANAGEMENT OF P-200 

CONSULTANTS (2 GROUPS) PLUS MANAGER OF SAFETY SERVICES 
AND PLANT ENGINEERING MANAGER OVERSEEING THE PROGRAM 



VEST MILL TEAMS 



EAST MILL TEAMS 



FIRE 



INDUSTRIAL 
HYGIENE 



PINKHAM LUMBER 



GUARDING 



ELECTRICAL 



INDUSTRIAL 
HYGIENE AND 
FIRE 



ELECTRICAL 

AND 

GUARDING 



COMBINATION 
OF 2 HALF TIME 
AND MANY HELPERS 



STARTED WITH 12 EMPLOYEES 



EACH TEAM: 1 SUPERVISOR 
2 HOURLY 



STARTED WITH 5 EMPLOYEES 
1 SUPERVISOR 
4 HOURLY 



NOV HAVE 2 HOURLY ONLY 



NOW HAVE 2 HOURLY ONLY 



162 

Mr. Shays. I thank all of you very much. 

Let me say that I think OSHA is in a very difficult situation 
now. It has a number of very strong critics, but it also has an ex- 
traordinary important role to play. As the testimony has evolved, 
I almost feel like I am in church. I feel like saying right on, praise 
the Lord. 

We want Grovernment to work, and the message that I am get- 
ting from GAO is that OSHA must use a more cooperative ap- 
proach to leverage the limited OSHA assets and resources that it 
has available to it. 

I am hearing of the incredible program of the VPPPA, as you 
have described it, Ms. Elliott, in terms of your efforts throughout 
the country. I am hearing from a pilot program. 

Bowater/Great Northern Paper Co., I have to be sure whether it 
is part of the VPP program or part of the Maine 200 program, I 
need to be clearer about that. But what I am learning is that if you 
can get the employers and the employees to sit down together and 
you have a cooperative regulatory body allowing that to happen you 
can get extraordinary results. I really want to make sure that mes- 
sage gets out. 

Could you just explain to me, are you part of the VPPPA? Are 
you part of the VPP program? Are you part of Maine 200? How 
does it all fit in? 

Mr. Rondeau. It is our goal to become part of the VPP. We are 
the P-200 program. The P-200 program started with our facilities, 
our company, our unions, and our management. 

Mr. Shays. In Maine? 

Mr. Rondeau. In Maine. 

We were the first, the pilot or flag ship, whatever term you want 
to use. 

Mr. Shays. What I am gathering from your description is that 
you were having extraordinary problems at your plant. Obviously, 
this was one of the plants you bought. 

Mr. Rondeau. Yes. Bowater purchased the Maine division which, 
again, includes two paper mills, a very large saw mill, which at one 
time had 300 employees and now has 123, the Nation's largest pri- 
vate hydroelectric system, over 2 million acres of timberlands, and 
a woodlands operation that had to be downsized. 

When you downsize, as Mr. Dear said earlier, it has a ripple ef- 
fect. Not only do you lose the people that actually go out the door, 
but then when all the domino effect takes place, we have a lot of 
people doing jobs that they are not familiar with and so on. During 
all this time, we had our challenges. 

Mr. Shays. Let me ask you, Mr. Hamilton, are you associated 
with the Maine plant? 

Mr. Hamilton. Yes, I am, sir. 

Mr. Shays. Was your concern at first what would Bowater do 
with it? Were you concerned it might be shut down? Were you con- 
cerned that this joint effort was not going to bear fruit? 

If you could give me a sense of the attitude at the time, were you 
hopeful? Could you describe it? Was it a slow process? Fill me in. 

Mr. Hamilton. I think there was some skepticism in the begin- 
ning, sir, because of the ownership changes and just the feeling of 
the employees, but that turned around. That participative coopera- 



163 

tion of everybody after the programs got rolling took effect, and 
people became involved and took ownership in it and could see the 
benefits in it that it has paid many dividends beyond just the safe- 
ty. 

Mr. Shays. I was tempted to ask what is the problem with this 
program, but I obviously don't have the right witnesses for that 
one. 

What would be the potential negative of a program like this? 

Let me ask GAO. You have heard the testimony and so on, and 
you have been following this. Are you hopeful that this kind of pro- 
gram can be expanded well beyond its present scope? 

Ms. Blanchette. You are talking about the Maine 200? 

Mr. Shays. Do me a favor. Define the difference. 

Ms. Blanchette. OK, I v/ill try. For the Maine 200 program, its 
participants are the 200 firms in Maine that has the highest num- 
ber of injuries, and it is a voluntary program, as is the VPP. 

The idea was that among those 200, the firms that were willing 
to cooperate, that they would do an assessment of their own work- 
place, their own work sites, and they would come up with their 
own action plan for correcting any deficiencies. 

As a result of that, they would not be on the No. 1 list in terms 
of inspections. I believe that is correct. If I am incorrect, correct 
me, please. 

The VPP is a program whereby outstanding, I guess we could use 
that term, firms that have outstanding workplace safety and health 
programs of their own and beyond their own programs and their 
own outstanding safety record, they are willing to reach out to 
other companies and share their successes. 

Mr. Shays. In both instances, there is a very definite cooperation 
between three parties. 

Ms. Blanchette. Absolutely. 

Mr. Shays. The employer, the employee, and the regulatory body, 
the lawmaking authority and also the regulatory authority. 

Ms. Blanchette. Absolutely. 

Ms. Elliott. May I just interject one thing? 

Mr. Shays. Yes. 

Ms. Elliott. With the employee involvement component, it is a 
very crucial part for VPP participation that there is meaningful 
employee involvement at the facility in addition to the manage- 
ment commitment. For facilities that have collective bargaining 
agents present, it is a requirement that the representatives from 
that local collective bargaining agent turn in a signed statement to 
the agency stating that they do not oppose the faciUty's participa- 
tion in the VPP. At any time during their participation in the VPP, 
the union has the right to inform OSHA that they no longer sup- 
port the program, and they will then withdraw from the program. 
So it is a definite partnership among OSHA, the employees, and 
the management at the site. 

Mr. Shays. Can I just make an observation? Mr. Rondeau, your 
plant obviously spent a lot of money to comply, but it probably 
spent it in the most effective ways. 

Mr. Rondeau. Yes. Yes, we did. 

Mr. Shays. Mr. Souder. 



164 

Mr. SOUDER. I will try to reasonably behave so that the chairman 
does not start singing the Hank Williams, Jr., song, "All My Rowdy 
Friends Tonight." 

I want to say up front, too, that I believe that businesses that 
carelessly put their employees at risk are not only a shame, that 
is, they are morally incorrect, but they are stupid financially, and 
it is really good to see efforts such as yours that are trjdng to ad- 
dress those type of things. 

I wanted to ask, first, Ms. Blanchette this question. We just 
heard from Mr. Dear about his efforts to change the agency and 
you sajdng at the end of your testimony trying to change the agen- 
cy, but we also heard about the 6-foot rule. Mr. Scarborough would 
presumably have to wear a harness in case he fell down. That is 
how legends are created by OSHA, to say that 6 feet is a danger. 
Do you believe that they adequately consulted with people? Are you 
familiar with that rule? Does that not seem like the type of thing 
that just sends businessmen up a wall when they hear something 
like Michael Jordan falling over is a danger? 

Ms. Blanchette. I am not familiar with that rule, but I will give 
Mr. Jeszeck a chance to answer because he has worked in this area 
a lot longer than I have. 

I will say that there are a number of regulations that OSHA it- 
self recognizes as being duplicative or in need of revision for some 
other reason, and it is in the process currently of revising regula- 
tions and eliminating regulations. 

I can't talk specifically about this one, and I can't imderstand 
how such a rule would evoke that kind of reaction. In the work we 
did on workplace regulation and the people we talked to, we got 
similar reactions to specific instances of standards that they saw 
as unreasonable. 

Mr. SouDER. I think Mr. Dear in his testimony has one reference 
that one of the voluntary compliance companies, the two people 
that weren't in the Maine program had 14 times more violations 
than would have been normally expected. You said that there were 
30,000 things that you were working through in the process. 

In your GAO study, given the fact that they had 30,000 viola- 
tions or things that they potentially could work through, do you 
think most businesses look at the OSHA as something that they 
are going to try to voluntarily work with, unless they are in one 
of the programs, or do they just kind of wait for their visit coming 
once every 60 years or 20 years or whatever it is, fearing and 
knowing that when OSHA comes there is going to be a slam, but 
more or less giving up? I mean, you would need multiple attorneys 
to figure out first the OSHA law, then the labor law, then the fair 
employment standards law, and all the EPA laws. 

As a businessman, is it not true, I will phrase it that way, that 
most businesses more or less sit and wait until the enforcement 
comes? 

Ms. Blanchette. I really can't speak for most businesses other 
than to say, as you did in your introduction to the questions, that 
it only makes sense from a business person's point of view to pro- 
tect its workers and it is also morally the right thing to do. 

So I certainly would not say that there are businesses in great 
numbers doing whatever it is they feel like doing and thinking that 



165 

they are safe because OSHA is only going to be there every 60 
years, but at the same time, I am sure there are some firms that 
fall in that category as well. 

In terms of the multiple standards and the multiple violations 
that go along with the standards, currently OSHA is trying 
through its change in a more negotiated rulemaking to bring about 
a consensus before standards are actually officially proposed, and 
that will probably help in that regard. 

Also, as I understand each of these programs, a major part of it 
is prioritizing what it is that the company is going to deal with. So, 
in the case of 30,000 problems, obviously they couldn't address all 
of those. So there would be some mechanism for prioritizing the 
problems. 

If I may, I will let Mr. Jeszeck comment maybe on the previous 
question, as well as this one. 

Mr. Jeszeck. In our study, it was not a nationally representative 
study, but it was an in-depth case study of 24 employers, 10 
unions, and 2 non-union employee committees. We worked very 
closely with national organizations like the AFL-CIO, as well as 
the Labor Policy Association and NAM, and constantly bounced off 
of them the kinds of things we were hearing to see whether they 
made sense. 

With regard to your question, one of the things that really came 
up was that employers especially felt that there was a real need 
for knowledge, a real need for information. A lot of employers that 
we talked to wanted to do the right thing, especially the smaller 
ones, but they didn't know what to do. They didn't know where to 
get information, and it did contribute, to some extent, to creating 
an element of fear. They didn't know a lot about OSHA. 

In another study, we have had a lot of employers who have never 
had any experience with OSHA, and most of what they have heard 
about OSHA was hearsay. So it does contribute to this climate of 
fear, and a thing that came again and again was that they wanted 
information. They want to know what they had to do, and in many 
instances, it was difficult for them to get that information. 

Mr. SOUDER. I would just like to close with this comment. I be- 
lieve, too, that we have seen exemplary programs, and I believe in 
Congressman Ballenger's bill. He is attempting to boost that por- 
tion, and instead of the enforcement, that we focus more on shared 
programs where we provide the information. 

From what we heard of Ms. Elliott's testimony, in fact, compa- 
nies make more money when they do a number of these things, and 
what we should be doing is enco\iraging the chamber, even if it is 
OSHA, rather than have so many people in the field to hold re- 
gional seminars on how to comply, how to be effective, to show how 
that can help a business. 

Michael Porter in the Harvard Business Review wrote in the 
issue before last about how environmental regulation changes can 
actually save money for businesses, but there is this kind of fear 
hanging over the head that I believe leads a lot of businesses right 
now to have, as you pointed out in your report, a hostile attitude 
toward the agencies. Therefore, they are not even looking at the fi- 
nancial gain. They are, more or less, sitting back and waiting for 
fear of what is going to happen, and the team concept that we are 



166 

pushing through is really the way capitalism should work, and that 
is really what you have done in Maine is to have the company and 
the employees sit down together and work it like it should have 
been done in all industry in this country, rather than the adversar- 
ial relationship. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Shays. I thank the gentleman. 

Mrs. Morella. 

Mrs. Morella. Thank you. 

I just wanted to comment, as I am learning about this reinvent 
plan, Maine 200 is where companies in Maine that had the worst 
safety record were called together and told you will either cooper- 
ate or else we are going to lower the boom with incredible sanctions 
from OSHA. Therefore, what alternative did they have? So they 
said sure, we will cooperate. Then that is how this has worked out. 

I want to ask you, to get to the bottom line, do you see as we 
work toward reinvent and, of course, the promise that you are 
going to have 16,000 regulations that are going to be eliminated 
and maybe clarification of regulations which is something I hear a 
lot about? People can't even understand what these regulations are 
in order to enforce them. Do you see a congressional role in this? 
Do you think that this reinvent process will just proceed by itself 
that way, or do you see a role for Congress in this? 

Any or all of you, briefly. Thank you. 

Mr. Rondeau. I can only speak to the experience we have had 
in the P-200 program. It has been a true partnership. We needed 
some guidance. OSHA needed some guidance, and we got that 
guidance by working together. With a cooperative partnership, the 
reforms and all that, I don't think are really needed. I think if the 
shackles were taken off of OSHA, so they could have more of this 
cooperative effort and be the consultants and help the employers 
that want to be helped, that, those employers will help ourselves, 
and that leaves, as Mr. Dear said, the leveraging that they can al- 
locate the small resources that they really have toward going after 
those that don't want to help themselves. 

Mrs. Morella. Do you think sometimes you have an overabun- 
dance of faith? 

Mr. Rondeau. Faith is through motivation, and in the P-200 
program, there is motivation. We were given the choice. We could 
have allowed OSHA to come in. It would have been a lot cheaper 
to let OSHA come in and do an inspection and see what they see 
and cite us and walk away and not do any more, but in the long 
run, that would have been the most expensive route for us to take 
because, through our efforts, our employees uncovered many, 
many, many real hazards that OSHA inspectors don't see; electrical 
hazards, for an example, 67 percent at one mill and 48 percent of 
the hazards we uncovered at another mill were electrical. 

OSHA inspections traditionally don't uncover electrical hazards, 
but those are the kind of hazards that kill people. You may never 
get involved in them, but when you do, you don't get a second 
chance. 

Mrs. Morella, A very positive result. 

Ms. Elliott, would you agree? 

Ms. Elliott. Yes. I would like to say two comments on that. 



167 

The first one has to do with a comment I made earUer in my tes- 
timony about the need for a balanced approach, utilizing coopera- 
tive programs along with firm and fair enforcement for those em- 
ployers, like Mr. Dear talked about earlier, that are not the ones 
who are interested in pursuing a cooperative relationship. 

Unfortunately, there are work sites out there where the employ- 
ers do not have as important a regard for their worker's safety and 
health as we would hope, and the cooperative programs are an im- 
portant part of the balance, but you need to have the balance be 
for both sides. 

The other part of it extends from the comments that the gen- 
tleman here just made about how Congress measures OSHA's per- 
formance, and Mr. Dear also mentioned that earlier, as far as 
measuring them on enforcement inspections and citations issued 
versus overall impact on improving worker safety and health. 

Certainly, the VPP and the Maine 200 experience that we have 
heard have had a tremendous impact on worker safety and health 
that are very valuable to the agency, and encouraging that sort of 
a measurement as to what is the overall impact on improving 
worker safety and health is an important role that Congress can 
play. 

Mrs. MORELLA, It seems to be working out well, and I would 
hope other States would look to it, but I am just wondering in 
terms of the bottom line whether there is a role for Congress. I just 
begin to think maybe there is. 

GAO, I am sure you would like to comment on that. 

Ms. Blanchette. I don't know whether I can define a concrete 
role other than as Ms. Elliott said, to encourage OSHA's efforts to 
continue experimenting with collaborative efforts and publicize the 
successes and efforts such as this hearing. 

As the gentleman from the union said, initially, there was reluc- 
tance to cooperate with management in this new program, and I 
think that there is still a lot of natural tendencies for management 
and labor to mistrust one another and for the business sector to 
mistrust the Federal regulatory sector. So the more that is known 
about the successes, the more collaborative efforts will be under- 
taken. 

Mrs. MORELLA. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Hamilton. Mrs. Morella, I would like to make a comment. 

Mrs. Morella. Yes, Mr. Hamilton. 

Mr. Hamilton. I think it is very important, OSHA's presence 
and the U.S. Government's, for the workers in this country and the 
people you represent, all of you, that I think you will play a very 
important role, and I think the finding is very important. 

Thank you, Mrs. Morella. 

Mrs. Morella. Thank you. I appreciate that. 

Mr. Shays. I am not looking for many or long answers. I just 
want to know, does the voluntary program focus mostly on larger 
businesses? 

I will ask you, Ms. Elliott. Is it mostly larger businesses that are 
invited to participate? 

Ms. Elliott. The current participants which are in Federal and 
State OSHA jurisdictions, 231, a majority of the employers would 



168 

fall under probably what most people would think of as larger busi- 
nesses. 

There are small businesses, like Woodpro Cabinetry that I re- 
ferred to in my testimony and others, that are involved in the pro- 
grams. 

One of our organization's emphasis in the coming years is to ex- 
pand and work with OSHA on encouraging more small businesses 
to get into the Voluntary Protection Program, be it through our 
mentoring program or through our outreach and assistance, to en- 
courage them not only in improving worker safety and health in 
their facilities, but also encouraging them to get to the level of ex- 
cellence that VPP requires. 

Mr. Shays. Let me say that I have found all of your testimony 
very helpful and also very encouraging. I want to thank the GAO, 
for the work done in the past and for its continued good work. I 
appreciate you sharing the floor, so to speak, with others as well. 

Thank you all for coming to Washington and for testifying. It has 
been very interesting. 

We will conclude with our third panel, William Steinmetz, Jr., 
safety and loss control manager, Midland Engineering Co., and also 
Michael J. Wright, director of health, safety, and environment, 
United Steelworkers of America. 

If they would both come forward and remain standing. 

Mr. Steinmetz, if you would just remain standing for a second. 
As someone who notices ties, I like your tie. 

Mr. Steinmetz. Thank you. 

Mr, Shays. Raise your right hand, please. 

[Witnesses sworn.] 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. 

I would note for the record that both of our witnesses answered 
in the affirmative, and we will start, I think, with you, Mr. Stein- 
metz. I appreciate both of you being here. 

STATEMENTS OF WILLIAM STEINMETZ, JR., SAFETY AND LOSS 
CONTROL MANAGER, MIDLAND ENGINEERING CO.; AND MI- 
CHAEL J. WRIGHT, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, SAFETY, AND EN- 
VIRONMENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA 

Mr. Steinmetz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Before I begin, I would like to mention Congressman Green 
asked the question of documentation regarding 62 percent of work- 
place fatalities in transportation or homicides, and I do have that 
piece of documentation that documents that. This is from the Bu- 
reau of Labor Statistics. 

Mr. Souder, it was your question that generated that, and I do 
have that if you are interested in it. Unfortunately, Congressman 
Green has left. 

Chairman Shays and members of the subcommittee, my name is 
Bill Steinmetz. I am the safety and loss control manager for the 
Midland Engineering Co. We are roofing and sheet metal contrac- 
tors from South Bend, IN, and we have performed some 600 
projects a year throughout the midwest, including the United Cen- 
ter, the new home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks. 

We receive as many as 10 OSHA inspections per year. I am also 
a vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, 



169 

NRCA, and I appreciate being able to comment on the need to re- 
form the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, 
and applaud the subcommittee for holding a hearing on this issue. 

NRCA supports the Safety and Health Improvement Regulatory 
Reform Act of 1995, H.R. 1834, introduced by Representative Cass 
Ballenger, and we understand that it now has 148 cosponsors. 

In addition to our support of 1834, NRCA is also a member of 
the Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health, COSH, which 
consists of more than 400 companies, associations, and professional 
societies that represent all sectors of business, large and small, in 
America. 

Given the administration's call for a new OSHA, neither the need 
for nor the direction of OSHA reform are at issue. As to the means 
for achieving reform, the employer community believes that it can 
best be accomplished by legislative change. 

Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would like my written 
statement placed into the hearing record, and I will now summa- 
rize my comments beginning on page 5. 

OSHA's attempts to reinvent itself would seem to be the second 
stage of its response to criticism of its standards and policies. The 
first stage involve the formation of a rapid response team or a 
truth squad to defuse reports of excessive OSHA regulation. 

It has been my experience with OSHA's truth squad that it vig- 
orously denies the existence of ridiculous regulations even as the 
agency quietly modifies them or alters enforcement of them. 

For example, this year, the Secretary of Labor and OSHA have 
consistently denied reports that there is a regulation that prohibits 
gum chewing while roofing. Yet, on January 13th, a memo from 
OSHA's directorate of compliance programs to regional administra- 
tors instructed inspectors to refrain from issuing citations for gum 
chewing and roofing. 

Throughout 1995, OSHA has also repeatedly denied that it is- 
sued citations under Haz-Com for the use of household products, 
such as dishwashing detergent. Yet, on March 21st, OSHA issued 
a memo to regional administrators stating that an enforcement re- 
view showed that citations had been issued for material such as 
bricks, rebar, lubricating oils, welding rods, and dish washing de- 
tergent. 

Another example is OSHA's new fall protection standard which 
has been in effect since February 6th. It triggers costly and burden- 
some work practices at heights above 6 feet and has touched off a 
firestorm of protest. 

Despite the fact that workers, management, and even State- 
planned OSHA programs are dissatisfied with the standard, 
OSHA's truth squad portrayed the standard as immanently fair 
and flexible. 

Nonetheless, OSHA management has convened a series of meet- 
ings with NRCA, and it is NRCA's hope that the fall protection 
standard can be fixed. 

Mr. Chairman, this is the fifth time since 1991 that I have testi- 
fied before Congress on OSHA. On June 22d of this year, I testified 
before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. During 
that hearing, Mr. Dear was asked whether OSHA continues to sup- 
port legislation from the 103d Congress, referred to as COSHRA, 



170 

the Comprehensive Occupational Safety and Health Reform Act. 
His answer was yes. 

For those members who were not in the 103d Congress, 
COSHRA was sponsored by House and Senate Labor Committee 
chairmen, Bill Ford and Ted Kennedy. Since COSHRA takes the 
opposite approach to OSHA reform for Mr. Ballenger's bill, not to 
mention statements from the President, it is difficult to understand 
how OSHA can simultaneously embrace opposing reform ideologies. 

I applaud the things that OSHA has proposed to reinvent them- 
selves, focused inspections, less emphasis on paperwork, incentive 
for safe employers. I just haven't seen any evidence of them. In 
fact, Haz-Com continues to be the No. 1 OSHA citation for 1995. 

Absent the current congressional pressure, I doubt that OSHA 
would be interested in these reforms at all, and so I can only won- 
der if the reinvention is more in appearance than in substance. 

Clearly, the reforms embodied in the Ballenger bill will ensure 
that OSHA can be given a new and more effective direction in 
worker health and safety. 

Thank you, and I will be happy to answer any questions. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Steinmetz follows:] 



171 



NATIONAL 
ROOFING 
CONTRACTDRS 
ASSOOATION 



Washington Office 
206 E Street, N.E. 
Washington, D.C. 20002 
202/546-7584 
FAX: 202/546-9289 



STATEMENT BY 

WILLIAM STEINMETZ JR. 

OF THE 

THE NATIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION (NRCA) 

TO THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES 
AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

CONCERNING REVAMPING THE 
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION 



OCTOBER 17, 1995 



172 



The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is an association of roofing, roof deck 
and waterproofing contractors. Founded in 1886, it is one of the oldest associations in the 
construction industry and has over 3,500 members represented in all 30 states. All NRCA 
contractors are small, privately held companies; NRCA's average member employs 35 people 
and has sales of just over $3 million per year. 

NRCA is a member of the Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH), which is 
comprised of more than 400 companies, associations, and professional societies that represent 
all sectors of business, large and small, in America. 

COSH members are committed to providing safe and healUiful working conditions for their 
employees and recognize this as a fundamental responsibility of effective management. COSH 
believes this employer commitment is reflected in die steady downward trend in workplace 
injuries, illnesses and fatalities. 

We applaud the Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Affairs for holding 
routine oversight hearings on regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health 
Adminishation (OSHA). Systematic congressional oversight is crucial to curbing the growth of 
regulations and removing the strangle-hold that overregulation has on small business in this 
country. 



OSHA'S HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD 

One of the most egregious regulatory burdens placed on the roofing industry today is OSHA's 
Hazard Communication Standard, or Haz-Com, originally promulgated in 1983 for the 
manufacturing sector. In 1987, OSHA expanded Haz-Com to include construction. The 
standard requires employers to assess chemical hazards in the workplace; write a policy for the 
safe handling of these materials including a complete inventory; and provide information and 
training to exposed employees. 

The cornerstone of this training is the Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS. It will tell you 
everything you could want to know about a hazardous material such as the manufacturer's name 
and address; ingredients; physical characteristics; flammability; reactivity; potential health 
hazards; precautions for safe handling; and required personal protective equipment. 

Regrettably, Haz-Com and its MSDSs are confusing, expensive, and have done litUe to improve 
safety within the construction industry. Haz-Com was supposed to provide a single reference 
source for employers and employees in the event of an emergency involving dangerous 
substances, but, in fact it is the last place that they would look — Haz-Com has given us 
thousands of MSDSs on everything from "air" to dishwashing detergent. 



173 



On any given day, contractors must have MSDSs at all job sites for all "hazardous" materials. 
They must know which of these products are in use at each job site and make sure the correct, 
brand specific MSDS is available at each job site. No wonder that in 1994, Haz-Com violations 
comprised nine out of the top twenty most frequently cited OSHA standard violations 
(attachment) ~ they are the easiest to identify because 100 percent compliance is nearly 
impossible. 

OSHA has opened the public record for various parts of the standard, sometimes for long 
periods of time. A modified final Haz-Com standard was printed in the February 9, 1994 
Federal Register. Despite the proliferation of paperwork, and the fact that the standard is the 
most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors (a roofing contractor in Indiana was cited for not 
having a brand-specific MSDS for caulk), the modified standard makes minor changes that can 
be found only with a magnifying glass. 

The President recently signed into law the Paperwork Reduction Act re-authorization, which 
overturns Dole v. United Steelworkers of America, allowing the Office of Management and 
Budget (0MB) to review third-party paperwork requirements such as Haz-Com. And OSHA 
had its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health establish a work group 
to make recommendations regarding the inefficiencies of the current standard, particularly those 
related to construction and other mobile workforce industries. But the question remaiiis: Will 
the Clinton Administration seize the opportunity to rein-in Haz-Com? 



RECENT ADMINISTRATION/OSHA DSfiriATIVES 

The Clinton Administration has taken several highly publicized steps this year in the name of 
regulatory reform, but regrettably, the substance does not match the rhetoric touting these steps. 
On March 16, the President held a press event at a print shop to announce a list of "reinventing 
regulation" proposals. Though most involved the Food and Drug Administration and the 
Environmental Protection Agency, two were government-wide: I) agencies would be given 
discretion to allow small businesses to apply the dollar amount of assessed fines to fix the 
problems, or even waive the fines for first-time violators who agree to quickly correct the 
errors; and, 2) the Administration would direct each agency to cut in half the frequency of 
periodic reports, consistent with statutory requirements. On April 21, the President issued a 
memorandum to agencies to implement these proposals - but the memorandum lacks the force 
of law and leaves action entirely to the discretion of the agency. 

The memorandum directs agencies to waive penalties for small businesses "to the extent 
permitted by law" if the business shows a good-faith effort to comply with applicable 
regulations; if the cited violation does not involve criminal wrong-doing or a significant threat 
to health, safety or the environment; if the violation is corrected within a time-frame set by the 
agency; and if the agency so chooses. It is left to each agency to come up with its own 
definition of "small" business. 



174 



The memorandum also directs agencies to reduce by one-half the frequency of regularly 
scheduled reports which employers are required to provide to the federal government, but 
agencies are given broad discretion to ignore this directive. In fact, bureaucrats have explicit 
permission not to reduce reporting requirements if they believe cutting back might "impede the 
effective administration of the agency's program." 

Each agency was given until June 13 to submit a plan to 0MB describing how it would 
implement the provisions of the memorandum, and any enforcement policies modified as a result 
of this exercise were to take effect by July 4. 

On May 16, at a sheet metal factory, the President aimounced a major "Reinventing 
Government" initiative involving changes at OSHA. It is puzzling that President Clinton used 
the announcement to criticize Republican efforts to reform OSHA, because of the similarity 
between statements in the Administration's white paper that accompanied the announcement and 
the proposals in H.R. 1834, the Safety and Health Improvement and Regulatory Reform Act of 
1995. 

Per the President's announcement, OSHA's new inspection program will go nationwide with the 
"Maine 200" pilot program. OSHA used Maine's workers' compensation claims to identify the 
200 companies with the worst safety records. According to OSHA, they accounted for nearly 
half of Maine's (workers' compensation) injuries and illnesses. These companies were given 
the choice of either developing a comprehensive health and safety plan to fix the problems, or 
be subject to traditional OSHA inspections and heavy fines. Not surprisingly, most opted for 
the "cooperative" approach and OSHA has claimed dramatic results. 

The other new inspection program will extend "focused inspections" in the construction industry 
to all industries. The program has been in effect since October 1, 1994, and, in theory, OSHA 
inspectors determine from the contractor (with job site responsibility) whether an effective safety 
and health program is in place and being implemented by a competent person. If this meets 
OSHA's criteria, then inspectors focus on fmding hazards related to the four principal hazards 
in construction: falls from elevations, being struck by an object, crushing injuries, and electrical 
shock. If, according to OSHA, a contractor does not have an effective safety program being 
administered by a competent person, then OSHA inspectors conduct a "comprehensive, resource- 
intensive investigation." 

Unfortunately, OSHA's performance regarding regulatory reform has been poor. For example, 
due to inadequate instructions provided by the agency to inspectors, a very small percentage 
(reportedly less than 5 percent) of all OSHA construction inspections have been of the "focused" 
variety. And even though total OSHA inspections went down in 1994, total fines went up. Just 
last summer, OSHA raised the minimum willful serious violation penalty for businesses from 
$5,0(X) to $25,000, as announced on nationwide television by the Secretary of Labor. However, 
with little notice this March, OSHA reduced the minimum penalty for employers with 50 or 
fewer workers to its previous level of $5,000. 



175 



In May, OSHA reported to business and union representatives from the construction industry 
that, pursuant to the President's February 21 directive to agencies to eliminate or revise 
regulations, its review of 3,000 pages of OSHA regulations found 1,000 pages of duplication. 
This represents pages that could be eliminated without substantively touching the regulations. 
Regardless, on June 12, at the White House Conference on Small Business, the President and 
Vice President announced to the delegates that 16,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations 
would be eliminated. 

On September 6, the White House made one more in its series of announcements about ending 
or simplifying regulations. According to the President, these reforms would cover several 
agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), and would eliminate approximately 16,000 
pages of regulations and simplify another 31,000 pages. NRCA is not aware of the specifics, 
but it is rumored that one candidate might be OSHA's regulation effectively prohibiting gum- 
chewing and roofing. 

OSEL^'S "TRUTH SQUAD" 

OSHA's attempts to "reinvent" itself would seem to be the second stage of its response to 
criticism of its standards and policies. The first stage involved the formation of a rapid response 
team, or "Truth Squad," to diffuse reports of excessive OSHA regulation. It has been NRCA's 
experience with OSHA's "Truth Squad" that it vigorously denies the existence of ridiculous 
regulations, even as the agency quietly modifies them and/or alters its enforcement of them. 

For example, this year the Secretary of Labor and OSHA have consistently denied reports that 
there is a regulation that prohibits gum-chewing while roofmg. This has been happening 
repeatedly despite a January 13 memo from OSHA's Directorate of Compliance Programs to 
regional administrators instructing inspectors to refrain from issuing citations under the gum- 
chewing provision. 

Throughout this year, OSHA has also repeatedly denied that it issues citations under Haz-Com 
when household products, such as dishwashing detergent, are being used without MSDSs at job 
sites. Yet on March 21, OSHA's Directorate of Compliance Programs issued a memo to 
regional administrators stating that an enforcement review showed that "citations have been 
issued for materials such as bricks, rebar, lubricating oils, welding rods and dishwashing liquid 
without adequate documentation of employee exposure to a specific hazardous chemical or that 
their use fails to meet OSHA's consumer product exemption." 

Another example is OSHA's new Fall Protection Standard, which has been in effect since 
February 6. It triggers costly and burdensome work practices at heights above six feet and has 
touched off a firestorm of protest. Despite the fact that workers, management, and even state- 
plan OSHA programs are dissatisfied with the standard, OSHA's "Truth Squad" portrayed the 
standard as eminently fair and flexible. Nonetheless, OSHA management has convened a series 
of meetings with NRCA and it is NRCA's hope that the Fall Protection Standard can be fixed. 



176 



NRCA commends the House Subcommittee on Regulation and Paperwork for holding a June 15, 
1995 hearing on the Fall Protection Standard. NRCA also appreciates the fact that concern in 
the Congress over this standard's negative impact on the economy has led the House to attach 
an amendment to the Labor/HHS appropriations bill (H.R. 2127) directing OSHA to reopen its 
fall protection rulemaking ~ and the Senate is poised to do the same. 



REINVE^4TION OR COSMETIC CHANGE? 

Mr. Chairman, this is the fifth time since 1991 that I have testified before Congress on OSHA. 
On June 22, I testified before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. During that 
hearing, the OSHA witness was asked whether OSHA continues to support legislation from the 
103rd Congress referred to as "COSHRA," the Comprehensive Occupational Safety and Health 
Reform Act (H.R. 1280/S. 575). The answer was XM- 

For those Members who were not in the 103rd Congress, COSHRA was sponsored by House 
and Senate Labor committee chairmen Bill Ford and Ted Kennedy. Since COSHRA is generally 
considered to take the opposite approach to OSHA reform from Mr. Ballenger's bill, not to 
mention the President's rhetoric, it is difficult to understand how OSHA can reinvent itself. 

Aggravating this dilemma is the overall tone of OSHA's National Advisory Committee on 
Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), which is advising the agency. At its Sq)tember 
meeting, one NACOSH member suggested that business community efforts to reform OSHA be 
renamed the "Coalition Against Safety and Health," while another commended OSHA legislative 
representatives for circulating a "Fact or Myth" publication to refute regulatory "horror stories." 

After 25 years of doing things the same way, OSHA is a victim of "in-speak" and will probably 
never be able to take a fresh look at improving worker safety by itself. Absent congressional 
pressure, it is doubtful that OSHA will allocate more funds to the small business consultation 
program, or consider ways to cut down on paperwork citations. 



CONCLUSION 

Clearly, even with administrative attempts to "reinvent" OSHA, Congress will need to pass the 
meaningful OSHA reforms embodied in H.R. 1834 to ensure that necessary changes take place 
within the agency regarding OSHA policies and practices. 



177 



3 



c-ci. 



_ .J to 3- in 3 f" <»<'' 2 



^) CO ^\n 3 !r * ' 



178 



TOP 10 MOST FREQUENTLY VIOLATED STANDARDS - FY 95* 



RANK 


FY 95 

STAHOAROVratATEO 

• VIOLATIONS 


1 


1910.1200 

Hazwd Comnunlcalioo 
10,165 


2 


1910.147 

LockoulA^sgout 

4,700 


3 


1926.451 

Scafloldinf 
4.046 


4 


1910.305 
WWng MMwdi. 

Cofflponants. Equipnwri 

torOonanlUM 

3,457 


6 


1910.219 

MwlianicalPtxMr- 

Tfwwnlttkwi 

Apparmt 

3,355 


6 


1926.059 

Kazan) Ccmnunlcition 
(Contffuetlon) 

3,315 


7 


1910.132 

Paraanal Prettctiva Equip 
3,070 


8 


1910.212 

Machina Guarding 

3,016 


9 


1910.303 

Elactrtcal 

2.548 


10 


1910.215 

Abrunw Whaal Machinaiy 

2,507 



'FY8i|a(orSapM<nMf23 IMS) 
Source CMOS IMIS Rapons 



179 

Mr. Shays. Thank you. I appreciate your concise testimony. 

Mr. Wright. 

Mr. Wright. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Any real attempt to understand OSHA has to begin with the ac- 
tual experience of those OSHA is charged to protect. My union rep- 
resents about 500,000 of them, and notwithstanding our name, 
they are in really every segment of the economy, steel, of course, 
but also mining, rubber, chemicals, general manufacturing, health 
care services, even public emplojnnent. 

Last year, 35 of our members died in workplace accidents in the 
United States, along with more than a dozen supervisors and con- 
tractors in plants we represent, and 26 have died so far this year. 
Not a single one was a homicide. Not a single one was a suicide. 
There were three transportation-related accidents, but they were 
things like workers being crushed between rail cars or seriously in- 
jured with a subsequent death by a shifting load on a flatbed truck. 

Mr. Shays. How many employees are we talking about, again, 
sir? Mr. Wright, you said all of your workers. I am sorry to inter- 
rupt your testimony. I realize that takes your train of thought 
away. 

Mr. Wright. We have about 600,000 in the United States. 

Mr. Shays. You say to date, starting at the beginning of this 
year, you have had 25 deaths? 

Mr. Wright. We have had 26 so far this year. We had 35 last 
year in the United States in the industries that are regulated by 
OSHA which, of course, is not every industry. 

All of the accidents were different, but there is one statement 
you can make about all of them, and that is that none of the acci- 
dents occurred because OSHA was too strong. Not a single worker 
died because the Government was too tough or inspected too often 
or assessed too high a penalty or set too many standards or was 
not sufficiently cooperative with employers. 

On the contrary, they died because all too often, OSHA is too 
weak. There are too few inspections. There are too many serious, 
but unregulated hazards in American workplaces, and fundamen- 
tally, because too many employers think they have nothing to fear 
from OSHA. 

Many of us in organized labor have criticized some aspects of 
what OSHA calls its reinvention, but we fully support its stated 
goals; first, to better protect American workers on the job, and sec- 
ond, but subordinate, to ease the burden of compliance for employ- 
ers who really want to do a good job. 

We are working hard on that reinvention, along with employers, 
SEifety and health professionals, and of course, the agency itself, but 
I want to make just one simple point this afternoon, and that is 
that without a strong program of standard-setting and enforce- 
ment, coupled with an emphasis on worker rights, OSHA reinven- 
tion will fail. 

I have spent most of my career trying to build voluntary coopera- 
tive safety and health programs between workers and manage- 
ment. That is my job. That is exactly what the OSHA reinvention 
seeks to do, but all of my experience convinces me that the best in- 
centives for voluntary programs are mandatory standards and vig- 
orous Government enforcement. The best way to ensure that the 



180 

programs work is to include workers and their representatives in 
their implementation. 

I will give you a couple of examples. In the steel industry, up 
until about 1980, we were losing about six workers a year from car- 
bon monoxide, a very serious hazard in primary steel plants. Near 
the end of 1979, we lost six in a single accident. In 1980, the steel 
industry sat down with the union in those negotiations, and we 
crafted a comprehensive agreement on carbon monoxide. It took 
about a year to implement the engineering changes and other con- 
trols, but since that time, two workers have died from CO in 
plants. That is two too many. 

Mr. Shays. From what period? 

Mr. Wright. Between the full implementation of the programs in 
1981, and today we have lost two. We were losing six a year. Based 
on that previous death rate, the agreement saved roughly 50 lives. 

OSHA wasn't directly involved in those negotiations. They 
weren't involved at all or in the resulting agreements, but we made 
it clear to the companies that negotiation was an alternative to an 
OSHA standard and that we were fully prepared to go to OSHA if 
the negotiation broke down. 

I have a very high regard for our bargaining partners in the steel 
industry. I would like to think that we would have reached agree- 
ment even without the possibility of petitioning OSHA, but I fciow 
that at least one company negotiator sold the final agreement to 
his superiors by saying if we don't agree to this, we will get an 
OSHA standard. OSHA provides leverage. 

The point is there isn't any tradeoff between voluntary programs 
and enforcement. It is not a matter of one or the other. Increased 
enforcement in voluntary programs will increase, also. Decreased 
enforcement and fewer employers will want to establish strong 
safety and health programs voluntarily. 

That is not to say that every company would willingly violate the 
law were it not for OSHA inspections. There are many employers 
that would do their best to protect workers without OSHA. In fact, 
there are three broad categories of employers, and OSHA needs to 
handle each one a little differently. A major effort of the reinven- 
tion should be to do just that. 

First, there are those for whom safety is an important corporate 
responsibility they strive to honor. We have heard about the volun- 
teer protection program. Assistant Secretary Dear has talked about 
other programs, to recognize and support their efforts, and we ap- 
plaud those programs. 

On the other end of the spectrum are the corporate lawbreakers 
for whom safety is a cost to be avoided and workers are expend- 
able. We have heard about how strong enforcement can turn some 
of those companies around as well. 

In the middle, I think, is the vast group of employers, and that 
is the group that cares about safety that may want to do a good 
job, but need a little extra guidance and a little extra incentive. 
There are lots of ways we can provide the guidance. We have 
talked about consultation programs, rewriting standards in simple 
English, and other programs. 

The incentive can be provided by the kind of ideas that Maine 
200 represents. We have been a critic of some aspects of Maine 



181 

200, and some of my criticisms are in the written statement, but 
I think the important point about Maine 200 and the other pro- 
grams hke it, and there are similar programs going on in New 
Hampshire and in Wisconsin, a somewhat different focus, but a 
similar emphasis is that without the stick of enforcement, those 
programs will not succeed because they are based on enforcement 
as the driving force for voluntary compliance. 

Targeted employers in Maine are told that they will get a com- 
prehensive inspection if they do not join the program. I submit that 
relatively few would join it otherwise. Some would, but not all 
those that need to join it. 

Indeed, the entire reinvention effort depends on strong stand- 
ards, vigorous enforcement, and worker rights. Standards written 
in plain language are useless if there is no incentive to read them. 
Producing a penalty for good faith is impossible if there is no pen- 
alty to begin with. OSHA will rarely uncover phony paper pro- 
grams unless workers feel free to complain to the agency when that 
is necessary. Too few companies will choose the high road if the low 
road carries no risk. 

This brings me to my final point. Most of the OSHA legislation 
now in Congress, if enacted, would destroy OSHA's reinvention ef- 
fort. In fact, they would virtually destroy the agency itself and 
greatly compromise the safety and health of every American work- 
er. 

H.R. 1834 introduced by Representative Ballenger would elimi- 
nate first instance penalties in most cases. Employers would have 
little reason to enter into any of the involuntary programs before 
the first inspection since that inspection would be a free ride. 

H.R. 1834 would also repeal the right of a worker to file a con- 
fidential complaint and the right of a union to file a complaint at 
all. Many hazards would go uncorrected since OSHA would never 
learn of their existence. 

Of course, the big cuts in OSHA enforcement contemplated in the 
House budget would reduce correspondingly the incentive for vol- 
untary compliance. Taken together, H.R. 1834 and the appropria- 
tions bill would make American workplaces much more dangerous 
and, to put it bluntly, get a lot of American citizens killed. 

This view is widely shared by safety and health professionals. 
You would be surprised how many company safety directors have 
told me confidentially that without OSHA, top management would 
not provide nearly as much support for the corporate safety pro- 
gram. 

Their trade association lobbyist may tell you something different, 
but in a recent survey by Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, one 
of the professional magazines for industrial hygienists and safety 
professionals, almost two-thirds of respondents said that the cur- 
rent anti-regulatory climate in Washington would have an adverse 
effect on their corporate safety and health programs. Almost two- 
thirds, and that is just the climate. Consider the impact if the bill 
is actually passed. 

Mr. Chairman, voluntary compliance is essential. Cooperation is 
the best way to promote safety and health. Done right, OSHA's re- 



182 

invention effort can facilitate all of those things, but none of it will 
happen without strong standard-setting, strong enforcement, and 
worker rights. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Wright follows:] 



183 



STATEMENT OP MICHAEL J. WRIGHT 

DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT 

UNITED STEELWORKERS OP AMERICA 

BEFORE THE 

COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS 

U.S. HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES 



October 17, 1995 



Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee: 

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to 
discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in 
particular OSHA' s reinvention effort. My name is Michael Wright. 
I am privileged to lead the health, safety and environment 
department of the United Steelworkers of America. I am also a 
member of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational dafety 
and Health, a federal advisory committee established by the 
Occupational Safety and Health Act. Of course, the views I will 
express are my own, not those of NACOSH. 

Any genuine attempt to understand OSHA must begin with the 
actual experience of those OSHA is charged to protect. Half a 
million of them belong to our union. Notwithstanding our name, 
the USWA represents workers in virtually every segment of the 
economy -- steel of course, but also mining, rubber, -chemicals, 
general manufacturing, health care, services, even public 
employment . 

Last year, thirty- five of our members died in workplace 
accidents in the United States, along with more than a dozen 
supervisors and contractors in plants we represent. Twenty-six 
have died so far this year. They were a diverse group, from many 
different industries. Their ages ranged from 19 to 63. Most had 
children. One was a single mother. 

One of my duties is to oversee the union's investigation of 
fatal accidents. They were all different --a 53 -year-old pump 
repairman who died from carbon monoxide in a relatively new 
operation because his employer had never done the kind of 



184 



engineering analysis that would have found and fixed that hazard; 
a 3 6 -year-old product inspector who was crushed to death in a 
rolling mill because her employer had failed to properly guard 
the equipment; a 27-year-old furnace operator burned to death by 
a breakout of molten metal because his employer made a conscious 
decision to push the furnace beyond the safe life of its 
refractory lining; a 61-year-old engineer crushed between two 
rail cars inside a steel plant because there are no OSHA 
standards or industry-wide voluntary programs governing such 
operations. 

Though these accidents were diverse, there is one statement 
that is true for all of them -- none of the accidents occurred 
because OSHA was too strong. Not a single worker died because 
the government was too tough, or inspected too often, or assessed 
too high a penalty, or set too many standards, or was not 
sufficiently cooperative with employers. On the contrary, they 
died because OSHA is too weak, because there are too few 
inspections, because there are too many serious, but unregulated, 
hazards in American workplaces and, fundamentally, because too 
many employers think they have little to fear from OSHA. 

Of course, these accidents are only a small manifestation, 
in one group of workers, of the risks facing all working men and 
women. One death is a tragedy; the 56,000 deaths we suffer each 
year from occupational accidents and disease is a national 
catastrophe and a national disgrace. 

Many of us in organized leibor have criticized some aspects 
of what OSHA calls its reinvention. But we fully support its 
stated goals -- first, to better protect American workers on the 
job; second, and subordinate, to ease the burden of compliance 
for those employers who genuinely want to do a good job. 

We are working hard on the reinvention, along with 
employers, health and safety professionals, and of course the 
agency itself. I have been, and will be, personally involved in 
two aspects of the reinvention, just this week. Yesterday and 



185 



today, OSHA is hosting a stakeholders meeting on safety and 
health programs. On Thursday and- Friday, a subcommittee of the 
NACOSH will be holding a public meeting on OSHA' s Hazard 
Communication Standard. Mr. Steinmetz, who testified earlier, is 
a critic of that standard. I hope he can join us there for a 
more comprehensive discussion of his views. 

Assistant Secretary Dear and others have discussed various 
aspects of the OSHA reinvention effort. For my part, I want to 
make just one simple point this afternoon. Without a strong 
program of standards-setting and enforcement, coupled with an 
emphasis on worker rights, OSHA reinvention will fail. 
Let us consider what Congress achieved with the 
Occupational Safety amd Health Act. As terrible as the current 
death toll is, without OSHA it would be far worse. In 1970, the 
year the Act was passed, the fatality rate from workplace 
accidents was 18 per hundred- thousauid workers. In 1993, it was 
eight --a 55* decrease. In the high-hazard industries that OSHA 
targets, the improvement has been even more dramatic. For 
example, fatal accidents in construction have decreased by more 
than 60%. Conversely, the rates have declined less in sectors 
with less OSHA enforcement. One example is government. As you 
know, state and local workers are covered only in state plan 
states. Federal workers can ask for an OSHA inspection, but OSHA 
has no power to require compliance from other federal agencies. 
Among government workers, the fatality rate has declined by only 
21%. Since 1989, the rate among government workers actually has 
exceeded the rate in mauiuf acturing . 

Now some may object to my statement that OSHA has been 
responsible for the decline in workplace fatality rates. Of 
course, many groups had a part in the improvement. Employers 
built strong corporate safety programs; unions expanded their 
safety and health staffs, and worked with management to create 
thousands of workplace safety and health committees. 
Universities trained an increasing number of safety engineers and 

- 3 - 



186 



industrial hygienists. Professional societies increased their 
involvement . 

However, OSHA was the seed around which all this activity- 
crystallized. And at the heart of OSHA are the agency's 
standards, its enforcement programs, and the rights the OSH Act 
grants to American workers. 

If there is one thing on which everyone here agrees, it is 
that enlightened employers should provide safe workplaces 
voluntarily. The question is, how do we get them to do it? I 
have spent most of my career trying to build voluntary, 
cooperative safety and health programs between workers and 
management. All my experience convinces me that the best 
incentives for such programs are mandatory standards and vigorous 
government enforcement . The best way to ensure that the programs 
work, is to include workers and their representatives in their 
implementation. 

This is not the first hearing devoted to the relationship 
between regulations and voluntary programs. As long ago as 1845, 
the Massachusetts legislature held hearings on the hours of labor 
and working conditions in the textile industry, prompted by the 
early labor organizations formed by the women in the mills. 
Worker after worker testified on the health problems caused by 
long hours and poor ventilation. Several described lung 
conditions they attributed to cotton dust. Ninety years later 
the medical profession would recognize their disease as 
byssinosis, or brown lung. 

The women asked for regulations governing hours and working 
conditions. The Massachusetts legislature expressed its 
sympathy, and agreed with the workers on every point except one. 
The remedy, they said, was not in regulation, but in "the 
progressive improvement in art and science, in a higher 
appreciation of man's destiny, in less love for money, and a more 
ardent love of social happiness and intellectual superiority." 



187 



That is a more elegant phrase than "voluntary compliance," but it 
is essentially the same ' 

And of course, it did not work. As the industry expanded, 
tens of thousands of textile workers were killed or crippled by 
byssinosis. By 1978, there were an 40,000 active cases, 
amounting to 20% of the industry's workforce. That was the year 
OSHA established a mandatory standard, and began to enforce it. 
By 1985, the rate of byssinosis had been cut by 95*. Many of 
those firms complied without ever seeing an OSHA inspector. But 
it took the standard, and the possibility of an inspection, to 
gain their cooperation. 

Voluntary programs can work, but they are hard to establish 
outside a framework of regulation. One example comes from our 
own union. In the late 1970s, we lost four to six workers each 
year from carbon monoxide in the steel industry. Near the end of 
1979, we lost six in a single accident. In the 1980 steel 
negotiations we sat down with the industry to craft a 
comprehensive agreement on carbon monoxide. It took about a year 
to implement the engineering changes and other controls, but 
since that time, only two workers covered by the agreements have 
died from carbon monoxide. Based on the previous death rates, 
the agreements have saved more than 50 lives. 

OSHA was not directly involved in the negotiations or the 
resulting agreements. But we made it clear to the companies that 
negotiation was an alternative to am OSHA standard, and that we 
were fully prepared to go to OSHA if the negotiations broke down. 

I have a high regard for our bargaining partners from those 
steel companies. I would like to think that we would have 
reached agreement even without the possibility of petitioning 
OSHA. But I also know that more than one company negotiator sold 
the final agreement to his superiors by contrasting it with the 
alternative of an OSHA standard. 

Enforcement leads to cooperation. That principle also 
applies in the day-to-day administration of safety and health. 

- 5 - 



188 



We have joint safety and health committees in virtually all of 
our workplaces. We expect them to discuss and resolve safety and 
health problems and, in most cases, they do just that. It is 
very unusual for the union to file an OSHA complaint where the 
safety and health committee is working well. Almost every 
dispute gets resolved between the union and the company, usually 
at the workplace level. But what makes this possible is OSHA. 
OSHA keeps both sides honest. The company knows that we can and 
will go to OSHA if they refuse to correct a legitimate problem. 
The union knows better than to raise frivolous complaints, 
because OSHA will not support us under those circumstances and we 
will lose credibility. 

Several years ago, a company whose workers we represent 
decided they could save time by lifting heavy loads through the 
limit switch of a crane. That is a dangerous practice, because 
the lifting mechanism can fail and the entire load can fall. The 
safety and health committee discussed it; the union showed the 
company the law, but the company refused to listen. Reluctantly, 
we went to OSHA; the company was cited for a willful violation. 
As a result, we were able to agree on a comprehensive program of 
crane safety. Today, both sides listen to each other. That 
local union never had to go to OSHA again. 

In non-union workplaces, OSHA is even more important. All 
too often it is the threat of an OSHA inspection, and possible 
penalties, that persuades management to read the relevant 
standards, audit the workplace, call a consultant, look for the 
hazards, and fix them. 

The point is, that there is no trade off between voluntary 
programs and enforcement. It is not a matter of one or the 
other. Increase enforcement, and voluntary programs will 
increase also. Decrease enforcement, and fewer employers will 
establish strong safety and health programs voluntarily. 

This is not to say every company would violate the law, were 
it not for OSHA inspections. There are many employers who would 

- 6 - 



189 



do their best to protect their workers even without OSHA. In 
fact, there are three broad categories of employers, and OSHA 
needs to handle each one a little differently. A major objective 
of OSHA reinvention should be to do just that. 

First, there are the employers for whom safety is an 
important corporate responsibility that they strive to honor. 
For these employers, safety is more than a priority to be weighed 
against other priorities, it is a value to be incorporated into 
every aspect of their operation. OSHA needs to recognize and 
support the efforts of such employers, and use them as benchmarks 
for other firms. That is what the Voluntary Protection Program 
is all cibout. Lee Anne Elliott described VPP to you earlier 
today. We have questioned some aspects of VPP, but we certainly 
support both the concept and the overall program. 

OSHA is also vKjrking on a compliance directive that will 
reduce penalties for employers who establish strong safety and 
health programs. We were dismayed by an earlier draft of the 
directive, because we thought it opened the door to sham programs 
existing on paper only. But we support the goals of the 
directive, ouid we are working with OSHA and the employer 
community to embody the goals in more effective language. 

Most of all, OSHA Ceui help cooperative companies by 
enforcing the law with respect to their less enlightened 
competitors, for whom safety is a cost to be avoided, and workers 
are expendcQjle. Those companies are at the other end of the 
spectrum, and there are all too many of .them: Imperial Foods in 
Hamlet, North Carolina, where 25 workers died behind locked exit 
doors when the plcmt caught fire; Napp Technologies in Lodi, New 
Jersey, where five workers were killed when the company knowingly 
ordered them into an area where a runaway reaction was building 
toward a catastrophic explosion; A.K. Steel in Middletown, Ohio, 
where four workers died because the company and an outside 
contractor broke many of the rules for working in confined 
spaces; Master Metals in Cleveland, where the owner deliberately 



190 



falsified blood lead records to avoid removing lead-poisoned 
workers from exposure and getting them the medical treatment they 
needed; Dayton Tire in Oklahoma City, where a worker was killed 
because the company continued to willfully violate OSHA's 
lockout/tagout standard, even after numerous injuries. The only 
answer for these companies is to hit them with the kind of 
citations and penalties that will get their attention and the 
attention of other would-be lawbreakers. 

Unfortunately, the reinvention has not focused sufficiently 
on these corporate outlaws. Several measures would help. The 
agency could, for example, reduce the time it takes to process 
the most serious violations. The OSH Act imposes a 6 -month 
deadline for issuing a citation, from the time the violation is 
first discovered. OSHA routinely takes the full six months to 
issue the largest citations. The reason is the confusing, multi- 
layer review process within the Department of Labor, involving 
not only OSHA, but a separate Solicitor's office. But the result 
is that workers exposed to the deadliest hazards have to wait the 
longest for OSHA to get around to ordering a correction. This 
problem culminated in the absurd situation of the Secretary of 
Labor arriving at Dayton Tire in Oklahoma City to deliver a 
citation alleging imminent danger six months after the violation 
was found. The Secretary was right. It was imminent danger. 
But it was even more imminent six months earlier, and as a result 
of its delay, OSHA lost the case. Sadly, the Department of Labor 
has not yet learned its lesson, and processing delays in serious 
cases are just as bad today. Justice should be more swift. 
OSHA could also tie its penalties more closely to the 
economic "benefit" a company thinks it gains by breaking the law. 
If an employer saves $1000 by failing to guard one machine, OSHA 
appropriately charges a single OSHA violation. If an employer 
saves $100,000 by failing to guard 100 machines, OSHA still 
charges a single violation in all but the most egregious cases, 
with a resulting penalty of a few thousand dollars. It is not 



191 



hard to see how that plays out in the cost/benefit calculation of 
an employer who cares only eibout the bottom line. 

Companies who neglect safety are, almost by definition, 
those who treat their employees the worst . OSHA needs to be 
especially protective of worker and union rights in such cases, 
including the right to be involved in the inspection, and in all 
settlement discussions. 

That brings me to the third group of employers -- the 
largest group, the ones in the middle. They may care about 
safety. They might want to do a good job. But they need a 
little extra guidcknce and a little extra incentive. 

The guidance can come through the state consultation 
programs, OSHA training grants, compliance assistance and 
outreach programs for small business, and some even simpler 
measures. For exan^ile, OSHA is exploring the possibility of 
rewriting some of its standards in plain English. In fact, it 
would help just to reformat the standards, with appropriate 
headings and indentations, so that a reader could find the right 
provision quickly. (For some standards, we have done that 
ourselves in the USMA -- primarily for our members and their 
employers, although a number of OSHA compliance officers have 
also requested copies.) 

However, it is the incentives for compliance which are most 
importamt. The Maine 200 experiment, which was described 
earlier, is designed to make employers with the highest numbers 
of injuries choose between active, voluntary programs, and strict 
enforcement . 

Maine 200 clearly works in many companies; you heard an 
example of that earlier. But OSHA needs to do a much more- 
thorough evaluation before the experiment is declared an success 
across the board -- especially in non-union companies. OSHA' s 
claim that employers voluntarily corrected more violations than 
OSHA would have cited, is undoubtedly true. But that should be 



192 



the case even without Maine 200. Strong enforcement also 
leverages voluntary cor -'liance, in Maine and elsewhere. 

In fact, there are serious unanswered questions about 
several aspects of the program. For example, Maine 200 relies on 
workers compensation data; companies sometimes avoid workers 
compensation reporting by shifting cases to their group health 
program, or by discouraging accident reporting through programs 
which reward workers for low accident rates. OSHA personnel in 
Maine have not done enough to ensure that worker and union rights 
are recognized in all employer programs. The reliability of 
company self -reporting is another concern, although OSHA has 
begun to test it through its monitoring visits. The program 
takes a large share of OSHA' s resources in Maine; a number of 
unions have complained about OSHA's availability in workplaces 
not among the targeted 200, especially in construction, which is 
excluded from the program altogether. Most fundamentally, we 
question the wisdom of eliminating routine inspections in the 
most dangerous workplaces . 

We think a better model is provided by two other OSHA 
initiatives -- the Wisconsin 200 program, and the New Hampshire 
Focused 50. In both cases, OSHA informed employers with the 
worst injury rates that they were targeted for inspection. At 
the same time, OSHA offered training and compliance assistance in 
advance. All the targeted workplaces were, or will be, 
inspected. But employers who took steps in advance to find and 
correct hazards were treated differently than those who did not. 
Whatever the ultimate evaluation shows, all three programs 
are well-motivated. They are based on the hope that even those 
employers with the highest injury rates can be encouraged to 
improve their safety and health programs and better protect their 
workers. But all three programs depend on strict enforcement as 
the driving force for voluntary compliance. Targeted employers 
in Maine are told that they will get a comprehensive inspection 
if they do not join the program; few would join it otherwise. 



193 



Targeted employers in the other two states know that they will be 
inspected; that knowledge provides them the incentive to improve 
their workplaces before OSHA arrives. 

Indeed, the entire reinvention effort depends on strong 
standards, vigorous enforcement, and worker rights. Standards 
written in plain language are useless if there is no incentive to 
read them. Reducing a penalty for good faith is impossible if 
there is no penalty to begin with. OSHA will rarely uncover 
phoney, paper programs unless workers feel free to complain to 
the agency when it is necessary. Too few companies will choose 
the high road, if the low road carries no risk. 

That brings me to my final point. Most of the OSHA 
legislation now in Congress, if enacted, would destroy OSHA's 
reinvention effort. In fact, they would virtually destroy the 
agency itself, and greatly compromise the safety and health of 
every American worker. For example, H.R. 1834, introduced by 
Representative Ballenger, would eliminate first -instance 
penalties in most cases. Employers would have little reason to 
enter any of the voluntary programs before the first inspection, 
since that inspection would be a free-ride. 

H.R. 1834 would also repeal the right of a worker to file a 
confidential complaint, and the right of a union to file a 
complaint at all. Many hazards would go uncorrected, since OSHA 
would never learn of their existence. 

Or consider ergonomic hazards, the greatest single source of 
injury in American workplaces. A rider in the House 
appropriations bill (H.R. 2127) would deny OSHA the authority, 
not only to promulgate an ergonomics standard, but to establish 
voluntary programs, or even to collect records of ergonomic 
injuries. Employers in the experimental programs in Maine, New 
Hampshire, and Wisconsin have reported significant drops in 
ergonomic injury rates. Under the House budget, OSHA would ce 
forbidden to help them with ergonomic problems, or even to 
listen, in any sort of official capacity, when they report 



194 



success. Nor could OSHA enforce any ergonomic standard against 
their less enlightened competitors. According to a recent survey 
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ergonomic hazards account for 
about half of all lost workday injury cases. Forbid OSHA to deal 
with ergonomics, and you doom the agency to failure in its 
mission. More important, you doom thousands of workers to 
painful and debilitating injuries. 

Of course the big cuts in OSHA enforcement contemplated in 
the House budget would reduce correspondingly the incentive for 
voluntary compliance. Taken together, H.R. 1834 and the 
appropriations bill would make American workplaces much more 
dangerous and, to put it bluntly, get a lot of American citizens 
injured or killed. 

This view is widely shared by safety and health 
professionals. You would be surprised how many company safety 
directors have told me, confidentially, that without OSHA, top 
management would not provide nearly as much support for the 
corporate safety program. Their trade associations lobbyists may 
tell you something different, but in a recent survey by 
Industrial Safety and Hygiene News , scheduled for publication 
later this year, almost two-thirds of respondents said that the 
current ant i- regulatory climate in Washington would have an 
adverse effect on their corporate safety and health programs. 
And that is just the climate. Consider the impact if these bills 
actually pass. 

Mister Chairman, voluntary compliance is essential. 
Cooperation is the best way to promote safety and health. Done 
right, OSHA's reinvention effort can facilitate all those things. 
But none of it will happen without strong standards-setting, 
enforcement, and worker rights. 

You can view the OSH Act of 1970 in several different ways - 
- as a public health measure, as a labor law, as legislation 
aimed at improving the economy by reducing the economic burden of 
workplace injuries and disease. But we view it as a commitment 



195 



Congress made to American workers. In the Act, Congress said 
that every American worker has a right to a safe and healthful 
workplace, subject only to the constraint of feasibility. 
Congress did not say: "You have a right to a safe and healthful 
workplace --so long as your employer is enlightened enough to 
provide one voluntarily." Congress told American workers that 
their lives were important, and worthy of protection. The Act 
was a promise Congress made to American workers and their 
families a quarter century ago. That promise must not be broken. 
Thank you. 



- 13 



196 

Mr. Shays. Thank you both very much. 

As I view the challenge that OSHA has, it is not dissimilar to 
the challenge that we face in our environmental laws. The pen- 
dulum went too far one way, and people didn't want to risk bring- 
ing it into balance in the past few years. So we let it stay that way, 
and there is danger, at least from my perspective, that it will now 
go too far the other way. It is really, I think, unfortunate that peo- 
ple from both sides of the aisle couldn't sit down in past years to 
say it has gone too far one way, let's acknowledge that, and then 
bring it into balance. 

OSHA is legendary in terms of the extraordinary numbers of 
foolish regulations and foolish enforcement. They are not just inci- 
dental. 

At the same time, I am a strong supporter of OSHA. I believe 
that we have murder in the workplace today, candidly. I think 
there are people that know their employees are in danger and they 
are very negligent, and yet, they are able to ignore what is sound 
business practice, and people die. 

So what I hear from the second panel, the kind of cooperation, 
I get excited about it. I get the sense from the both of you that you 
come from different directions which is really important for us to 
hear. 

So I would love to have you give me an assessment of what you 
thought of the presentation of the second panel. Is it too Pollyanna? 
Am I living in a dream world? I will tell you, from my standpoint, 
I think it is the future. So I would love for you both to just com- 
ment on that. 

Mr. Steinmetz. I would like to address the VPP program that 
OSHA does offer. I think they are wonderful programs. I think you 
heard good evidence that they are doing wonderful things in the 
business community. 

They don't apply to what I do at all. I do 600 projects a year. 
The VPP program is written. It is site-specific. It is a relatively 
complicated program. There is a lot of paperwork involved. I don't 
mean to characterize it as a bad program, but it is not for the type 
of business I am in. There really is no incentive program for the 
type of business I am in. 

We are in negotiations now with OSHA to try and come up with 
a compliance incentive program specifically for the roofing con- 
struction industry. Let's add some carrot back to it, too, not just 
all stick. 

I am not in favor of taking away all the stick because I don't 
think that is a good idea either, and I don't think Representative 
Ballenger's bill does that, but I think OSHA, by their own admis- 
sion, doesn't have the resources to go out and enforce the standards 
across all industries. So they need voluntary compliance. They need 
incentives. They need to reward people that are doing the right 
things. 

Mr. Shays. Let me just say before I ask you to comment, Mr. 
Wright, how I would respond if I were working in the administra- 
tion and I were asked what my thought was about Senator Ken- 
nedy's bill. From their standpoint, given their position in the past, 
I would probably try to find a way to say, yes, it was there, but 



197 

not encourage it to be implemented. I don't see the administration 
asking Congress to move forward with Senator Kennedy's bill. 

I guess what I am driving at is you are making a case, and it 
may be a valid one, but I don't think so. You are saying that a lot 
of what we are seeing in OSHA is really not from the heart. 

I think Mr. Dear deserves a little more credit than that. I do be- 
lieve it is from his heart. 

If you are sa)dng it is from other people in the administration, 
the jury is still out. If we in Congress buy that the monumental 
changes taking place have helped encourage the administration to 
think in the way they are thinking, more power to them. However, 
I believe that this administration knows that OSHA needs to 
change, and I believe the fact that they have recognized this 
change through their award process has been a signal to a lot of 
people that it is not just intended to be superficial. 

Mr. Steinmetz. But they didn't come to that conclusion on their 
own. My testimony was trying to characterize an agency that is in- 
capable of reforming themselves. 

I think without codifying this, without introducing legislation, 
the next time the political climate changes, we will be back to 
square one. 

Mr. Shays. You may be right. You may be right. That is a valid 
point. 

Mr. Wright. 

Mr. Wright. First, I think that changes in OSHA are very use- 
ful, will protect a lot of workers, are enormously overdue. I think 
OSHA is getting around to correcting some things that were really 
a result of the original act. 

For example, some of the regulations you have talked about that 
are on the books and just don't make sense anymore are regula- 
tions that came in, in 1970, when the act was passed because Con- 
gress said OSHA is not going to be able to get to everything right 
away, given the cumbersome standard-setting process. So many in- 
dustry voluntary standards were simply put on the books. That 
was really the only way to do it. 

All of those standards were written by the regulated industries. 
Many of them are very out of date. A lot of them don't make sense 
an3Tnore, and that is what they are going after. 

Some of the things that we have heard that are allegedly silly 
regulations, and I will use the gum chewing on the roof one, make 
a lot of sense. Let me tell you about that regulation. There is no 
OSHA regulation that says you can't chew gum while doing a roof- 
ing project. There is a regulation that says you can't chew gum 
while working around asbestos because you ought to be wearing a 
respirator while working around asbestos, and because we know 
that if you chew gum, dnnk water, eat while you are working with 
highly toxic substances, some of those things will get into your 
body through that route. 

So, essentially, what the regulation does is if you are tearing out 
asbestos shingle on a roof, then you can't chew gum. That is very 
different than saying roofers can't chew gum, in general. That was 
one of the new standards, and we generally support that. 

OSHA in its memorandum that was sent out to the field, and I 
don't have it in front of me, but my understanding is that what the 



198 3 9999 05983 691 4 

memorandum said was that if the exposures are below the per- 
mitted exposure level, then it is all right to chew gum, and I think 
that makes sense, but characterizing that as a silly regulation is 
a long way from the truth. 

Mr. Shays. OK. 

Mr. Souder, I appreciate you being here, and you have the floor. 

Mr. Souder. I wanted to ask Mr. Steinmetz a question, and pos- 
sibly, this gum chewing example can help me lead into it. Is not 
part of the problem on some of the regulations both the employer 
and the employee much like individuals who ride motorcycles who 
don't want to wear helmets? I thought that was a good point about 
asbestos, but you can't really have the employer roofing company 
out checking on the half hour to see whether his employees are 
chewing gum. We need to have some common sense upon the em- 
ployees as well that the employer needs to tell the employees the 
danger with this, but to some degree, Big Brother can't be watch- 
ing everybody all the time, particularly every 60 years if that is the 
amount of enforcement. 

At the same time, it is hard to deny that in the roofing industry, 
A, it is dangerous. There are a lot of deaths from falls. We have 
had some in my district recently. How would you suggest, since you 
seem to share a philosophy that I share that I don't believe the 
Federal Government is necessarily the way to do it, to have proc- 
esses that both encourage the companies to be a little more aggres- 
sive with their employees because sometimes the employees under- 
stand that the companies are kind of winking at violations of law, 
and yet, I see many work sites where people don't have hard hats 
on, where they are not being responsible on the roofs. 

I know many of my friends who build homes and other things be- 
have very irresponsibly on the job on an individual basis, and their 
employer probably doesn't even have the faintest idea. 

How would you do this if you wouldn't have the threat? We are 
always going to have the threat of some enforcement for careless- 
ness, but how would you try to improve safety at the work site if 
you wouldn't have it be done through OSHLA? 

Mr. Steinmetz. As you stated earlier, there are a number of 
other factors in place besides just OSHA. I have my employee mo- 
rale to worry about. I have productivity to worry about. I have pub- 
lic relations to worry about. I have the cost of my insurance to 
worry about. I have my ability to compete. It is all impacted by 
health and safety. I take health and safety very seriously, and I 
don't mean to be cavalier, but OSHA doesn't change my attitude 
toward health and safety. 

My safety program has gotten to the point where it has gotten 
two components. One is to keep my employees safe because I have 
a vested interest in that. The other is to keep OSHA happy. Haz- 
Com is a good example. 

You have probably heard the examples of Haz-Com. I have spent 
an inordinate amount of time hassling with Haz-Com. Haz-Com is 
a paper chase to keep OSHA happy. It is money I could be better 
spending. It is money OSHA could be better spending. 

In 1994, 9 of the top 20 citations were for Haz-Com. We have 
heard a lot of people talk about how what OSHA could be doing 
to save more lives. The Ballenger bill is going to cost this amount 



199 

of lives. OSHA's emphasis on Haz-Com and other paperwork cita- 
tions is costing lives. That is money that they should be spending 
chasing things that are killing people. Haz-Com in construction 
isn't killing people. Falls are killing people. Trenching is killing 
people. Electrical is killing people. Struck-by-accidents are killing 
people. That is the things OSHA should be spending their time on. 

They are telling us they have now come to the conclusion that 
yes, maybe that is where they should be spending their time. I 
haven't seen any evidence of it. 

Mr. SOUDER. We could get off on a whole number of angles with 
the materials because, while some materials are dangerous, other 
materials are less. Some of us back applying laws to Congress to 
see how we deal with the labor laws and how we deal with all of 
the things such as the ink blotters and the fountain pens having 
hazardous materials, and you are supposed to file a report if you 
have fountain pens in your office. We will see how many Members 
of Congress do that. 

Mr. Wright, I had a concern because I know that the steel indus- 
try and the foundry industry, and I realize your represent a lot 
more than that, but those are very dangerous, particularly in the 
old-fashioned industry before a lot of the productivity came in. Are 
you suggesting that we move to zero tolerance on death and acci- 
dents? In other words, part of the way we could get to zero toler- 
ance would be to have all our jobs exported or to have plastics in- 
stead of steel in automobiles. 

There is some kind of a line there. Would you grant between em- 
ployability whether it is the Clean Air Act, which overall has 
helped our country, and the Safety Acts, which I am not going to 
disagree have saved a lot of lives? Would you not agree there is 
some balance in here that we can't move to, in effect, zero tolerance 
without making us non-competitive? 

Mr. Wright. I disagree with the premise. We work with a lot of 
very good companies that are profitable, provide lots of employ- 
ment, and have very good safety records, and their policy on safety 
is zero tolerance. 

I can recall one safety manager who was told by the corporation, 
your goal here is to bring the fatalities down to three from the six 
it was the previous year worldwide. This was a very large company 
with operations in 20 or 30 countries. The corporate goal was to 
bring the six down to three, and he said which three people do you 
want me to kill. He said that is not my goal, my goal is zero. I don't 
think there is a tradeoff, at least where we are now in the work- 
place. There isn't a tradeoff in our local unions and our workplaces, 
anjrway, between providing jobs and providing safety. 

We found that the companies that do the best job providing safe- 
ty also do the best jobs at keeping the company profitable and pro- 
viding jobs. 

When safety goes bad, it is a management failure, and that man- 
agement failure usually means there has been a management fail- 
ure across the board, and that is the company we worry about 
going out of business. 

Maybe at some level, we would reach some academic tradeoff, 
but where we are operating in the workplace now, we can do an 
awful lot to make workplaces enormously safer through cooperative 



200 

programs, through strong enforcement, through all those things, 
and create jobs in the process. 

Mr. SOUDER. I appreciate your comments. It is a really com- 
plicated issue because, as we know with SDI and a lot of the new 
steel companies that aren't union, you have a tremendous boost in 
employment and a lot of changes in the market, but I definitely 
agree the goal should be toward zero tolerance. I appreciate your 
answer. 

Thank you both. 

Mr. Shays. I thank both gentlemen for being here today. 

Let me also thank the staff on both sides of the aisle who make 
these hearings possible, and also our court reporter. Amy Rose, 
who is quietly making sure it is all taken down. 

So, again, I thank everyone, and this hearing is adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 4:50 p.m., the subcommittee meeting was ad- 
journed.] 

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