Testimony Before Congress on OSHA’s Efforts to Improve Workplace Safety and Health


WASHINGTON, DC – In testimony to the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on Oct. 7, Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels described how, with limited resources, OSHA achieves its mission through a balanced approach of standards, compliance assistance, enforcement, outreach and whistleblower protection.

Dr Michaels told the committee, “we recognize that most employers want to keep their employees safe and make great efforts to protect them from workplace hazards. Our enforcement program specifically targets the most dangerous workplaces, where workers are most likely to be hurt on the job, and the most recalcitrant employers. For those employers who need technical assistance, we provide free on-site consultations to small employers, as well as other compliance assistance, educational materials and training.”

Dr. Michaels also detailed challenges in addressing the changing structure of employment relationships, such as the dramatic increase in temporary workers in virtually every type of workplace. Unless properly managed, these structural employment changes greatly increase risks of injuries and illnesses among all the workers in these workplaces.