The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers. To accomplish this, federal and state governments must work in partnership with the more than 100 million working men and women and their six and a half million employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2100 inspectors, plus complaint discrimination investigators, engineers, physicians, educators, standards writers, and other technical and support personnel spread over more than 200 offices throughout the country. This staff establishes protective standards, enforces those standards, and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs.
Nearly every working man and woman in the nation comes under OSHA's jurisdiction (with some exceptions such as miners, transportation workers, many public employees, and the self-employed). Other users and recipients of OSHA services include: occupational safety and health professionals, the academic community, lawyers, journalists, and personnel of other government entities.
OSHA is determined to use its limited resources effectively to stimulate management commitment and employee participation in comprehensive workplace safety and health programs.
At OSHA, we are dedicated to improving the quality of our efforts and know that to be successful we must become an agency that is driven by commitment to public service. The first step is for OSHA to listen and respond to its customers. Accordingly, we conducted a survey to learn more about what employers and employees think of OSHA's services.
Because workplace inspections are one of OSHA's principal activities and because voluntary efforts to improve working conditions ultimately depend on strong enforcement, our survey focused primarily on the inspection process. We asked a random sample of employees and employers who had recently experienced an OSHA inspection what they thought of the inspection in particular, and of OSHA's standards and educational and other assistance activities in general.
We based OSHA's new standards for public service on what we learned from the survey, from meetings with employee and employer groups, and from focus group discussions with workers from many plants and industries across the country.
Our public service improvement program will be an ongoing one. We will continue to gather information on the quality of our performance in delivering services in areas not included in this year's survey, particularly in the construction sector. Next year, too, we plan to learn more about public response to our assistance and consultation programs.
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