[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 103 (Tuesday, May 29, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31647-31649]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12913]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Establishing Indicators to Determine Whether State Plan 
Operations are At Least as Effective as Federal OSHA: Stakeholder 
Meeting

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 
invites interested parties to participate in an informal stakeholder 
meeting on establishing definitions and measures to determine whether 
OSHA-approved State Plans for occupational safety and health (State 
Plans) are at least as effective as the Federal OSHA program as 
required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The purpose 
of this meeting is to provide a forum to gather information and ideas 
on key outcome and activity based indicators and how OSHA can use such 
indicators to assess the effectiveness of State Plans.

DATES: The date for the stakeholder meeting is June 25, 2012, from 10 
a.m. to 1 p.m. eastern standard time, in Washington, DC. The deadline 
for registration to attend or participate in the meeting and to submit 
written comments is June 11, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held in the Francis Perkins Building, 
U.S. Department of Labor, Room N3437, at 200 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20210. The nearest Metro station is Judiciary Square 
(Red Line). Photo ID is required to enter the building.
    Registration to attend or participate in the meeting: To 
participate in the June 25, 2012 stakeholder meeting, provide written 
comments or be a nonparticipating observer, you must register 
electronically, by phone, or by facsimile by close of business on June 
11, 2012. Those interested may register with Angela DeCanio by email 
at: DeCanio.Angela@dol.gov, by phone at: (202) 693-2239, or by fax at: 
(202) 693-1671. Registrants should label their requests as: 
``Stakeholder Meeting: Monitoring of OSHA-Approved State Plans.'' When 
registering please indicate the following: (1) Name, address, phone, 
fax, and email address; (2) Organization for which you work; and, (3) 
Organization you will represent (if different).
    The meeting will last 3 hours, and be limited to approximately 20 
participants. OSHA will do its best to accommodate all persons who wish 
to participate. OSHA encourages persons and groups having similar 
interests to consolidate their information and participate through a 
single representative. Members of the general public may observe, but 
not participate in, the meetings as space permits. OSHA staff will be 
present to take part in the discussions.
    OSHA staff will manage registration of participants and observers 
and logistics for the meeting. A transcription of the meeting will be 
available for review at www.osha.gov. OSHA will confirm participants to 
ensure a fair representation of interests and a wide range of 
viewpoints. Nonparticipating observers who do not register for the 
meeting will be accommodated as space permits. Electronic copies of 
this Federal Register notice, as well as news releases and other 
relevant documents, are available on the OSHA Web page at: 
www.osha.gov. Registrants wanting to submit written comments must do so 
by June 11, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general and press inquiries 
contact: Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of Communications, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; 
telephone: (202) 693-1725; email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov. For 
technical information contact: Doug Kalinowski, Director, OSHA 
Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Room N-3700, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; 
telephone: (202) 693-2200; email: kalinowski.doug@dol.gov.

[[Page 31648]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (``the Act'') 
created OSHA ``to assure so far as possible every working man and woman 
in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions * * *.'' The Act 
also encourages states to develop and operate their own workplace 
safety and health plans. Once OSHA approves a State Plan under Section 
18(b) of the Act, OSHA may fund up to 50 percent of the state program's 
operating costs. Absent an approved State Plan, states are preempted 
from enforcing occupational safety and health standards. As a condition 
of OSHA approval, State Plans must provide standards and enforcement 
programs that are ``at least as effective as'' the federal OSHA 
program, in addition to voluntary compliance activities, and cover 
public sector employees. OSHA is responsible for the approval and 
monitoring of State Plans.
    Currently there are 27 OSHA-approved state occupational safety and 
health plans. Twenty-two states and territories operate comprehensive 
State Plans covering the private sector and state and local government 
employers and employees. Five states and territories operate State 
Plans which cover only public sector employees. Additional information 
about state programs may be found at: http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/index.html.
    The Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA), 
the organization of officials from each of the OSHA-approved state 
plans, serves as the link from the states to federal agencies that have 
occupational safety and health jurisdiction and to Congress. The group 
holds three meetings a year with federal OSHA, giving State Plans the 
opportunity to address common issues and share information. OSHSPA 
representatives have appeared before congressional committees and other 
bodies to report on job safety and health issues.
    Following congressional hearings over the past several years 
concerning state plan effectiveness, and an audit by the Department of 
Labor's Office of the Inspector General in March 2011, OSHA increased 
the level of onsite monitoring of state plans and committed to further 
strengthening communication between federal OSHA and the State Plans. 
On October 29, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab testified 
before the House Committee on Education and Labor about the Special 
Study that OSHA conducted of the Nevada State Plan and OSHA's plans for 
increasing oversight and conducting a baseline special evaluation in 
all other State Plans.
    In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 
OSHA conducts an evaluation of the 27 approved State Plan States each 
fiscal year. Before FY 2009, the Federal Annual Monitoring and 
Evaluation (FAME) reports primarily assessed the State Plans' progress 
toward achieving the performance goals established by their strategic 
and annual performance plans as well as certain mandated activity 
measures tied to the federal OSHA program or requirements of the Act. 
OSHA and the State Plans have outcome based measures that are part of 
their strategic plans, including reducing fatalities and injuries/
illnesses. Additional information can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/sec/stratplan/StrategicPlan.pdf and http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/efame/index.html.
    In FY 2009 the FAME reports were enhanced to include baseline 
special evaluations for each State Plan. The Enhanced FAME reports 
assessed the State Plans' progress toward achieving the performance 
goals established by their FY 2009 Annual Performance Plans and 
reviewed the effectiveness of programmatic areas related to enforcement 
activities through onsite audits and case file reviews. Each State Plan 
formally responded to the Enhanced FAME report and, as appropriate, 
developed a Corrective Action Plan that was approved by OSHA. The 2009 
interim monitoring guidance, intended to assist OSHA regions in 
monitoring state plans and preparing the FAME reports, focused on 
enforcement activities and the Corrective Action Plans in addition to 
performance goal. It was revised for the FY 2010 and FY 2011 
evaluations in response to concerns and issues raised both within OSHA 
and from State Plans.
    In response to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report 
entitled ``OSHA Has Not Determined If State OSH Programs Are At Least 
As Effective in Improving Workplace Safety and Health as Federal OSHA's 
Programs'' (http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2011/02-11-201-10-105.pdf), OSHA is working with OSHSPA to examine the monitoring system 
and address the OIG's recommendation to OSHA ``to define effectiveness, 
design measures to quantify impact, establish a baseline for State Plan 
evaluations, and revise monitoring to include an assessment of 
effectiveness.'' The goal of the stakeholder meeting announced in this 
notice is to solicit ideas about how to define and measure 
effectiveness and to develop a revised monitoring system (in place of 
the interim guidance) to ensure consistency and effectiveness across 
the State Plans.

II. Stakeholder Meeting

    The stakeholder meeting announced in this notice will be conducted 
in a manner that encourages participants to express individual views 
about how to determine whether OSHA-approved State Plans are as 
effective as the Federal OSHA program. Formal presentations by 
stakeholders are discouraged. The stakeholder meeting discussions will 
center on key indicators of effectiveness for Federal OSHA and OSHA-
approved State Plans. The specific issues to be discussed will include 
the following:
    1. OSHA's mission is ``to assure safe and healthful working 
conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards 
and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.''
    (a) How would you define or describe the components that constitute 
an OSHA-approved State Plan that was ``effective'' in achieving this 
mission (e.g., funding, staffing, standards setting, strong enforcement 
program, strong consultation program, frequency of inspection, strong 
training and outreach programs, level of penalties etc.)?
    (b) What outcome based measures would you use to determine whether 
OSHA-approved State Plans were achieving this mission (e.g., reductions 
in injury and illness rates, reductions in fatality rates, etc.)?
    (c) What activity based measures would you use to determine whether 
OSHA-approved State Plans were achieving this mission (e.g., number of 
inspections conducted, number of violations issued, etc.)?
    2. Should there be a core set of effectiveness measures that both 
OSHA and State Plan programs must meet?
    3. What activity and outcome based measures would you use to assess 
effectiveness as it relates to the reduction of health hazards?
    4. What activity and outcome based measures would you use to assess 
the effectiveness of the whistleblower program under Section 11(c) of 
the Act?
    5. What indicators would you use to determine and monitor whether 
OSHA-approved State Plans are ``at least as effective'' as federal OSHA 
as outlined in Section 18(b) of the Act?
    Representatives from the State Plans and OSHA have been working to 
develop a number of draft measures. OSHA will make these draft measures 
available on its Web site no less than

[[Page 31649]]

two weeks before the stakeholder meeting.

Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of David Michaels, 
Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 23, 2012.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2012-12913 Filed 5-25-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P