Survey Manual

308.64 – Occupational Safety and Health Council

Date: 04/02/19

OPR: Office of Administration

Instruction: Changes to this chapter were made to consolidate the DASHO Council (SM 308.65) and Bureau OSH Committee (SM 308.64) into one forum.  SM 308.65 is rescinded.


1.  Purpose.  This Survey Manual chapter provides the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) policy on the purpose and scope, membership, roles, responsibilities, and operations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Council.


2.  Scope.  The OSH Council serves as a technical and operational forum to (1) assure appropriate compliance with and implementation of Federal mandates, and (2) foster best occupational safety and health practices designed to preserve and promote the science mission of the USGS.  The OSH Council addresses emerging issues, engages in joint problem solving, and develops initiatives that improve or enhance the OSH Program.  The OSH Council operates under the guidance of, and reports to the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), who has final approval authority for the OSH Council actions and recommendations.


3.  Authorities and References.

A.  29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1960 – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for occupational safety and health.

B.  Executive Order 12196, dated February 26, 1980.

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


4.  Membership.

A.  The USGS OSH Council will consist of the following members:

(1)  DASHO.  The DASHO or his or her designee will chair the meeting.

(2)  Chief, Office of Management Services. (1 Voting Member)

(3)  Chief, Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch (OSHMB). (1 Voting Member)

(4)  Denver and Reston Section Chiefs (OSHMB).  (2 Voting Members)

(5)  Regional Safety Managers (7 Voting Members).  Each Region shall appoint 1 Regional Safety Manager representative.  Each region also has the option to appoint an additional management representative.  Each region shall have only one vote regardless of the number of appointed representatives. 

(6)  Mission Area Representation (7 Voting Members).  Each Mission Area can appoint 1 additional management representative.  Each Mission Area may have only 1 vote regardless of the number of appointees.


5.  Ad Hoc Membership.  The following ad hoc representatives also advise OSH Council Membership as appropriate:

(1)  Bureau Aviation Manager.

(2)  Bureau Firearms Manager.

(3)  Bureau Dive Safety Officer.

(4)  Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.

(5)  Bureau Watercraft Safety Program Manager.

(6)  Health Physicist.

(7)  Chief, Environmental Management Branch, Office of Management Services.

(8)  Subject Matter Experts, e.g., Human Capital, Office of Employee Development, Office of Communication, etc.


6.  Responsibilities.  The OSH Council shall:

A.  Review the annual OSH Program Plan that addresses initiatives to achieve program objectives and goals in concert with the Department of the Interior (DOI)/USGS OSH Strategic Plan and provide recommendations to the DASHO for Plan implementation, as appropriate.

B.  Provide a focal point for planning and assessment of OSH Program activities and develop initiatives that address OSH program needs.

C.  Advise the DASHO on the implementation of OSH Programs.

D.  Recommend changes to policy and provide program interpretations to clarify and facilitate OSH Program implementation and compliance.

E.  Provide a forum for the exchange of information between the membership to address and provide direction on OSH issues.

F.  Collaboratively perform functions as identified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, DOI, and the USGS.  These functions include:

(1)  Establishing an OSH Program.

(2)  Recommending sufficient bureau and regional funding and staffing to effectively implement the program.

(3)  Establishing a set of procedures that ensures effective program implementation.

(4)  Reviewing established goals and injury/illness data and developing initiatives to reverse negative trends and causal factors.

(5)  Establishing plans and procedures to evaluate program effectiveness and achievement of performance metrics and goals.

(6)  Setting priorities with respect to injury and illness causal factors so that appropriate corrective actions are taken.

G.  Reviewing USGS safety award nominations, providing concurrence on awardees, and making recommendations on those for DOI recognition.


7.  Meetings and Reports.  The OSH Council will meet at least quarterly and develop plans necessary to conduct business as well as evaluate the overall performance and achievement of Council decisions.   The OSH Committee has the authority to hold ad hoc meetings, special sessions, or establish working groups, as needed. 


8.  Voting.  The act of the majority of the total voting membership (10 of the 18 voting members), as specified above in section 4.A., will be the act of the OSH Council.  A quorum constitutes 12 of the 18 voting members.  All votes will be recorded in the meeting minutes, including the organizational entity that voted and its vote.  Voting members may send an alternate to carry their vote forward.


9.  Administration.  The OSHMB shall provide administrative support, for example, scheduling meetings and publishing meeting agendas and minutes.


10.  Charter.  This SM Chapter shall serve as the OSH Council Charter.


11.  Termination Date.  This policy must be reviewed biennially, or more frequently as needed.



/s/ Katherine M. McCulloch                                                                         04/02/19
___________________________________________                             _________

Katherine M. McCulloch                                                                                Date                                             

Designated Agency and Safety Health Official