As the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), it is my responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for all employees. I share this responsibility with all USGS employees. This overall responsibility is a combination of three major factors. First and foremost is our common humanitarian duty to protect our fellow employees from pain and suffering resulting from preventable accidents. We have no activity so important that we will knowingly expose any Bureau employee to an unacceptable degree of risk in the completion of a job assignment. Secondly, as a manager, I recognize that it is sound business practice to maintain an effective safety and health program. We simply cannot afford to absorb the unnecessary expense of avoidable direct payments from Employee Compensation resulting from job-related injuries and illnesses. While direct costs can be high, indirect costs are conservatively calculated as a multiplier of five times direct costs. These costs coupled with property damage and tort claims adversely affect our ability to perform our assigned tasks. Third, management has specific legal responsibilities under the provisions of Public Law 91-596, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, as detailed in Department of the Interior (DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) policies. This USGS Program Policy Handbook will serve as the cornerstone of our occupational safety and health program. The basic approach in the development of the Handbook has been to provide the field with a one-source, user-friendly document.
New USGS 445-2-H chapters issued in the future will be incorporated in sequential order under the section for reserved chapters. Updates and revisions to chapter content will be highlighted in Appendix 50-1, Fiscal Year Changes Summary, with the last revision date annotated in the Table of Contents. The Bureau Headquarters Safety and Environmental Management Branch (SEMB), Office of Management Services, Office of Administrative Policy and Services, will forward future manual changes/additions as they occur to the safety and health community electronically in addition to posting on the USGS safety Web site.
The SEMB will coordinate future updates, additions, or changes of proposed guidance through respective field science/administration/management for review and comment prior to making changes. The Bureau Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Council will provide a final review and forward with adoption recommendations to the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO) for final concurrence. Upon DASHO approval, the SEMB will distribute and post appropriately.
The USGS 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook; the USGS 445-1-H, Environmental Compliance and Protection Handbook; and USGS Survey Manual Chapter 445.1, Safety Policy and Responsibilities compose Bureau safety, health, and environmental policy. The USGS also has adopted additional policy by reference herein (i.e., OSHA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulations, DOI Occupational Medicine Program Handbook (March 1998), USGS Dive Safety Manual, DOI Office of Aviation Operational Procedures Memos, etc.).
Questions or recommended changes to this Handbook should be directed to the SEMB.
Carol Aten /S/ 11/30/2001
Chief, Office of Administrative Policy and Services