Las Vegas, NV May 17, 2019
May 8, 2019, the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) hosted Dr. David
Michaels, former United States Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational
Safety and Health for a roundtable discussion on occupational safety and health
enforcement, and safety consultation and training. Dr. Michaels was appointed by President
Barack Obama and served from 2009 to January 2017, earning the distinction as
the longest serving assistant secretary in the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration’s (OSHA) history.
Michaels shared his insights on how to increase the public presence of OSHA
through stakeholder meetings and media outreach, and how to expand OSHA’s
impact by incentivizing businesses to improve safety without conducting an
inspection. He provided examples of how these practices were implemented during
his tenure at the U.S. Department of Labor which included: issuing press
releases about key safety issues that motivated businesses to preemptively
abate hazards and publishing a list of businesses in a targeted industry and
announcing that inspections of these businesses would begin in six months.
Chief Administrative Officer of DIR’s
Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) Todd Schultz stated, "I enjoyed the discussions with Dr. Michaels.
His point that OSHA’s true mission is prevention and that consultation programs
are key in delivering on that mission resonated with me. In Nevada, SCATS - the
education arm of Nevada OSHA - achieves that goal through free onsite
consultation visits and training. Last year, SCATS assisted over 700 businesses
and trained over 6,000 employees."
staff shared information about the division’s innovative drone program and how
the technology is being used to safely conduct inspections at large
construction sites. The group also discussed pending legislation that would
require medical facilities to report workplace violence incidents to Nevada
OSHA. Dr. Michaels shared research correlating workplace safety with patient
safety which indicates that workers who feel safe are less likely to make
errors, more likely to follow safe practices and work well in teams.
the meeting, Dr. Michaels tweeted, “Thank you for inviting me. I was so
impressed with the great work of the Nevada OSHA staff. The workers and
employers of Nevada are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of safety and
health professionals working on their behalf.”
About the Division of Industrial Relations
Division of Industrial Relations, and agency of the Nevada Department of
Business and Industry encompasses six sections: Legal, Mechanical Compliance
(MCS), Mine Safety and Training (MSATS), Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA), Safety Consultation and Training (SCATS), and Workers’
Compensation (WCS). MCS is responsible for safety relating to elevators,
escalators, boilers, and pressure vessels; MSATS inspects and provides safety
training for mine operations; Nevada OSHA enforces health and safety standards
in the workplace; SCATS offers Nevada businesses free safety consultations; and
WCS ensures that Nevada workers injured on the job receive the benefits for
which they are entitled.
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