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308.64 – Occupational Safety and Health Council



Issuance Number:     308.64

Subject:                            Occupational Safety and Health Council

Issuance Date:            12/19/2021

Expiration Date:         12/31/2026

Responsible Office:    Office of Administration/Office of Management Services

Instruction:  The numbering structure in this Survey Manual (SM) chapter release supersedes the version of this chapter dated April 2, 2019.

Approving Official:     /s/ Katherine M. McCulloch                                     

                                           Associate Director for Administration


1.    Establishment.  This SM chapter provides U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) policy on the membership, roles, responsibilities, and operations of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Council and serves as its charter.

2.    Scope.  The OSH Council serves as a technical and operational forum to (a) ensure appropriate compliance with and implementation of Federal mandates, and (b) 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 the Chief, Office of Management Services and Chief, Branch of Occupational Safety and Health. The OSH council reports to the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), who has final approval authority for the OSH Council actions and recommendations.

3.    Authority and References.  

 A.  29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1960 – Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters; 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.  The USGS OSH Council consists of the following members:

A.  The DASHO or designee serves as Chairperson.

B.  Chief, Office of Management Services – One (1) Voting Member.

C.  Chief, Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch (OSHMB) – One (1) Voting Member.

D.  Denver and Reston Section Chiefs (OSHMB) – Two (2) Voting Members.

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

F.  Mission Area Representation – Five (5) Voting Members.  Each mission area may appoint one (1) additional management representative.  Each mission area may have only one (1) vote regardless of the number of appointed representatives.

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

A.  Aviation Manager.

B.  Firearms Manager.

C.  Dive Safety Officer.

D.  Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.

E.  Watercraft Safety Program Manager.

F.  Health Physicist.

G.  Chief, Environmental Management Branch, Office of Management Services.

H.  Subject Matter Experts, as needed (e.g., Human Capital, Office of Employee Development, Office of Communication).

6.    Responsibilities.  The OSH Council will:

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

7.    Meetings and Reporting Requirements.  The OSH Council will meet twice per year to 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 16 voting members), as specified above in section 4, will be the act of the OSH Council.  A quorum constitutes 12 of the 16 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.    Salary, Travel, and Incidental Costs.  Council members’ costs are funded by each participant’s represented organization.  The OSHMB will provide administrative support such as scheduling meetings and publishing meeting agendas and minutes.  All other extraordinary expenses may be pre-approved by the appropriate authorized individual and covered by a written agreement.