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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

445.1 - Occupational Safety and Health Policy and Responsibilities

Date: 1/4/10

OPR:  Office of Administrative Policy and Services, Occupational Health and Safety

Instruction.  This Chapter is revised to remove environmental program references and to add large vessel  references as applicable.

1.  Purpose.  To establish the USGS Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program and define program policies, requirements, and responsibilities.

2.  Scope.  The USGS OSH Program applies to all activities and operations of the USGS as well as its employees, volunteers, contractors, and visitors.  Components of the USGS OSH Program include:

A.  Organizational Policy and Program Administration.  Develop organizational policy, plans, guidelines, and rules relating to the USGS OSH Program; interpret occupational safety and health policy and procedures, including accountability of management and other personnel; establish councils, committees, and work groups to address occupational safety and health issues; and designate appropriate resources for effective implementation of the USGS OSH Program.

B.  Standards.  Ensure personnel awareness of and accessibility to applicable policy, documents, codes, regulations, and program standards.

C.  Occupational Safety and Health Program Assessment and Program Planning.  Perform annual evaluations of program elements, including personnel and financial resources, to provide management with information on program effort and effectiveness and to establish short- and long-term goals for program enhancement and implementation.

D.  Inspections.  Conduct operational and facility surveys, inspections, evaluations, and staff visits to identify hazards within the workplace and determine the level of organizational compliance with standards.

E.  Hazard Identification and Abatement.  Report and correct unsafe and unhealthful working conditions and identify and correct workplace hazards through job-hazard analyses.

F.  Accident and Incident Investigation, Reporting, and Analysis.  Investigate, report, and analyze accidents; provide recommended corrective actions; and track corrective measures through abatement to prevent recurrence.

G.  Training.  Identify, develop, coordinate, schedule, and conduct required training for target audiences and provide professional development of personnel.

H.  Promotion and Awareness.  Ensure compliance with standards and regulations, promote awards and recognition programs, and develop occupational safety and health promotion and awareness plans.

I.  Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine.  Promote hearing conservation, respiratory protection, personal protective equipment (as applicable), and laboratory safety.

J.  Fire Protection, Prevention, and Response.  Ensure that USGS facilities and operations are compliant with established fire safety practices and policies.

K.  Motor Vehicles and Motorized Equipment.  Ensure that operators of motorized vehicles are identified and trained; and that equipment is maintained in safe working condition.

L.  Contractor, Concessionaire, Volunteer, Public, and Off-the-Job Safety.  Provide equivalent occupational safety and health protections for subject personnel.

M.  Specialized Safety Program Assistance and Coordination.  Assist with aviation, diving, firearms, large vessels, radiation, and watercraft activities.

N.  High-Hazard Operations.  Promote safety in the areas of blasting, confined space entry, electrofishing, rocket netting, electricity use, and field operations.

3.  Authorities.

A.  Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

B.  Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended.

C.  29 CFR, Part 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters.

D.  43 U.S. Code, Section 1457, regarding public safety.

E.  DOI Manual Part 485, Safety and Occupational Health Program.

F.  DOI Manual Part 518, Waste Management.

4.  Policy.  This chapter sets forth the policy for administering the USGS OSH Program.  It is the policy of the USGS to:

A.  Provide and maintain a workplace that is free from recognized occupational safety and health hazards to protect personnel and visitors from injuries and illnesses and to protect property from accidental damage.

B.  Include occupational safety and health as an integral part of every operation.

C.  Hold managers and supervisors accountable and provide them with recognition for successful implementation and management of the program within their scope of authority and responsibility.

D.  Establish and maintain a staff of occupational safety and health professionals and collateral duty safety program coordinators at appropriate levels within the organization to advise management in the development and implementation of an effective occupational safety and health program.

E.  Require that no personnel be subjected to restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal for filing a report of an alleged unsafe or unhealthful working condition, or otherwise participating in the program.

F.  Provide personnel with the supervision, knowledge, and skills necessary to safely perform their assigned tasks.

G.  Require personnel and supervisors to identify and correct unsafe and unhealthful conditions, and to know and follow safe and healthful work rules and practices.

H.  Use occupational safety and health committees, as appropriate, to enhance the USGS OSH Program. (See SM 308.64, 308.65, and 308.66; and Chapter 9, SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook.)

I.  Comply with applicable program requirements and adopted national consensus standards.

J.  Promote off-the-job safety and health of personnel through on-the-job safety and health activities.

K.  Incorporate and enforce appropriate occupational safety and health performance clause(s) in contracts with concessionaires and contractors.

5.  Responsibilities.  The USGS OSH Program responsibility is shared by all levels of supervision.  Specific responsibilities for establishing and implementing the USGS OSH Program are detailed in Chapter 2, SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook; and SM 445-3-H, Safety and Health for Field Operations Handbook.

A.  Director.  Ensures the establishment and implementation of a comprehensive occupational safety and health program, including the designation of a Bureau OSH Program Manager, with appropriate staff and adequate resources to manage an effective Bureau program.  Holds line managers and supervisors accountable for fulfilling the requirements of the USGS OSH Program.

B.  Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services.  Serves as the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), exercising delegated authority from the Director for the overall management of the USGS OSH Program.  Serves as the USGS representative on the DOI DASHO Council.

C.  Bureau OSH Program Manager.

(1)  Administers the USGS OSH Program within the Occupational Health and Safety Team, Office of Administrative Policy and Services, reporting to the Bureau DASHO.

(2)  Advises and supports the Bureau DASHO and management, bureauwide, in carrying out the USGS OSH Program responsibilities.

(3)  Provides oversight and coordination of all USGS OSH Program elements, bureauwide, as detailed in Chapter 2, SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook, and SM 445-3-H, Safety and Health for Field Operations Handbook.

(4)  Provides bureauwide oversight and coordination of all Specialized Safety Programs involving aviation, diving, firearms, large vessels, radiation, and watercraft.

(5)  Serves as the USGS representative on the DOI Safety and Occupational Health Council, providing advice and direction to management of the DOI safety and occupational health program.

D.  Associate Directors.

(1)  Coordinate the USGS OSH Program implementation and ensure compliance within their respective organizations with regard to OSHA and DOI requirements; Chapter 2, SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook; and SM 445-3-H, Safety and Health for Field Operations Handbook, as applicable.

(2)  Provide oversight and guidance on issues related to the implementation of the USGS OSH Program in science projects and activities within their respective organizations.

(3)  Appoint personnel to provide advice and assistance in administering the USGS OSH Program within their respective organizations.

E.  Regional Directors.

(1)  Ensure the establishment of an occupational safety and health program within their respective regions, consistent with DOI, USGS, and regional occupational safety and health policies and guidelines.

(2)  Coordinate program implementation and ensure compliance within their respective organizations with regard to OSHA and DOI requirements; Chapter 2 of SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook; and SM 445-3-H, Safety and Health for Field Operations Handbook, as applicable.

(3)  Provide oversight and guidance on issues related to the implementation of the USGS OSH Program in science projects and activities within their respective regions.

(4)  Designate appropriate resources to assist in implementing their regional occupational safety and health program.

F.  Chiefs, Offices of Regional Services.  Ensure administrative support, through Regional Safety Managers, of the USGS OSH Program policy within the regions.

G.  Regional Executives.

(1)  Establish occupational safety and health programs consistent with DOI, USGS, and regional occupational safety and health policies and guidelines within their respective organizations.

(2)  Delegate occupational safety and health management and administrative authority, as appropriate, to safety personnel within their respective organizations.  The designated safety personnel will have sufficient authority to effectively represent the interests of, and provide support to, regional discipline science and field organizations.

(3)  Allocate appropriate resources to effectively implement the region's occupational safety and health program.

H.  Supervisors.

(1)  Demonstrate personal commitment to, and actively participate in, providing for the occupational safety and health of employees, contractors, concessionaires, volunteers, and visitors.

(2)  Implement occupational safety and health program requirements within their areas of responsibility.

(3)  Appoint appropriate resources to support field personnel in occupational safety and health program implementation.

(4)  Facilitate employee compliance with applicable Bureau policy requirements, as described in Chapter 2, SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook; and SM 445-3-H, Safety and Health for Field Operations Handbook.

(5)  Provide or arrange for appropriate employee occupational safety and health training and education.

(6)  Perform job hazard analyses for high-hazard operations and activities and mitigate identified hazards.

(7)  Conduct routine inspections of work areas and abate identified deficiencies as soon as practicable.

(8)  Investigate all job-related accidents, including taking appropriate corrective action to preclude recurrence of similar accidents, and record incidents and accidents in the Safety Management Information System.

(9)  Establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) program, including PPE issuance and employee training, and ensure compliance with applicable safety rules and regulations.

(10)  Provide for employee participation in the USGS OSH Program without fear of restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

I.  Employees.

(1)  Observe all safety precautions and practices applicable to their assignments and report any hazardous conditions or procedures to their immediate supervisors.

(2)  Wear required PPE and use provided safety equipment, as applicable.

(3)  Immediately report to their supervisors any accident or incident that results in, or could result in, personal injury or property damage.

(4)  Participate in all aspects of the USGS OSH Program, including safety training, inspections, occupational safety and health committee activities, and collateral duty safety officer activities, as appropriate.

(5)  Exercise rights and responsibilities as granted by the USGS OSH Program without fear of restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal for reporting an unsafe or unhealthful condition, or otherwise participating in the Program.

(6)  Actively participate in occupational safety and health education and training activities.

J.  Employee Representatives (Union), as applicable.

(1)  Participate in formal annual inspections of establishments and in the identification of unsafe or unhealthful conditions.

(2)  Review proposed occupational safety and health work rules and regulations.

K.  USGS OSH Council; Regional OSH Committees; Specialized Safety Program Committees; and Work Groups.

(1)  The USGS OSH Council serves as an advisory body to the Bureau Executive Leadership Team and Bureau DASHO on USGS OSH Program matters.

(2)  The Specialized Safety Program Committees serve as advisory bodies to the Bureau Executive Leadership Team and Bureau DASHO on USGS OSH Program matters.  These committees make recommendations related to aviation, diving, firearms, large vessels, radiation, and watercraft.

(3)  The Regional OSH Committees serve as advisory bodies to the Regional Directors and Executives on regional occupational safety and health program matters.

(4)  Field-level committees serve as advisory bodies to local managers on local occupational safety and health program matters.

(5)  Councils, committees, and work groups provide focal points for coordinating the USGS OSH Program activities and for exchanging program information between headquarters, regional, and field-level managers and safety personnel.

(6)  Encourage employees to comply with pertinent occupational safety and health requirements and practice safe procedures during off-duty hours.

(7)  Assist the headquarters Occupational Health and Safety personnel in developing drafts of program guidelines and other documents.

 

 

_____/s/ Karen D. Baker_____________   __________________1/4/09                             
Karen D. Baker                                                                 Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services


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