October 6, 2023

OSHA seeks to improve whistleblower program, OIG provides feedback on warehouse injuries and more

three males inspectors looking at a laptop

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA seeks input on whistleblower program

OSHA will hold a public meeting later this month to hear ideas for improving customer service and training assistance the agency offers to support federal whistleblower laws. The online meeting will be held on October 24 and will be available in English and Spanish. Those interested in attending must register by October 17.

OSHA receives recommendations to address elevated injury and illness rates

A recent audit from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (OIG) sought to determine how effectively OSHA addressed the high injury and illness rates in warehouses before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations were made to improve OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, reporting and recordkeeping compliance, and goals for its National Emphasis Program.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

DOL outlines protections against discrimination in federal programs

The DOL issued a fact sheet outlining civil rights protections against discrimination in federally funded programs. These protections apply to grant recipients under programs led by OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The DOL will issue guidance to agencies on their legal responsibilities under these acts and develop educational materials to inform employees of their rights.

The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)

DWC releases report about pharmacy costs and utilization

The Worker’s Compensation Research and Evaluation Group (REG) published a report that analyzes pharmacy costs and utilization in an effort to compare data before and after the 2011 introduction of DWC’s pharmacy closed formulary. From 2009 to 2022, both pharmacy costs and the number of prescriptions decreased by 73%. The total number of opioid prescriptions decreased by 86% and the total number of generic prescriptions increased by 21%.

Studies, resources, trends, news

Safety Culture Week begins October 16

EHS Daily Advisor seeks to promote employee engagement in thriving workplace safety cultures through its Safety Culture Week 2023. A variety of free resources, virtual webinars and demonstrations will be available to registrants, including topics such as empowering leadership for psychological safety, unlocking safety culture with mobile devices and safety success factors for supervisors. Online events run from October 16–20.