President Clinton unveiled a report, "The new OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration): Reinventing worker safety and health," which appears to be good news for contractors. The report mandates that OSHA change its operations "from one of command-and-control to one that builds partnerships among regulators and business." The mission is to make it easier for businesses to comply with federal rules.
Under this new strategy, OSHA would stop rewarding inspectors for the number of citations they write, allow inspectors to waive or reduce fines if a violation is corrected on the spot, and eliminate or fix outdated and confusing standards.
Specifically, Clinton ordered OSHA regulators to cut obsolete regulations, reward results--not red tape, create grass-roots partnerships with regulators and those affected by the regulations, and negotiate--not dictate--regulations. The initiatives that OSHA will use to increase worker health and safety, and decrease burdensome rules and overzealous enforcement include:
Focused inspections: Where an effective program is found on-site, OSHA will limit its inspections to the top four hazards.
Adopting quick-fix incentives: Compliance officers will reduce penalties for violations that are abated during inspection.
Use of information technology: OSHA will improve the availability of safety and health data to the public, employers and employees.