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March 12, 2014
Michigan announces new 5-year workplace safety plan

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recently released its new 5-year strategic plan for enforcement and outreach activities through 2018. What will the state safety agency be focusing its resources on over the next 5 years? Keep reading to find out.

The plan consists of three key goals intended to continue the downward trend in the injury and illness rate that has taken place in the state since 2008. According to MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder, the state’s improvements in workplace safety over the past 5 years “are very good, but there is still more work to be done.”

The first goal of the new plan is to “help assure improved workplace safety and health for all workers, as evidenced by fewer hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.” In order to accomplish this, MIOSHA will focus its resources on select high-hazard industries, with a goal of reducing injury and illness rates in those industries by 15 percent at the end of the 5-year plan. Industries included in this initiative include:

  • Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing,
  • Primary Metal Manufacturing,
  • Machinery Manufacturing,
  • Transportation Equipment Manufacturing,
  • Support Activities for Transportation,
  • Warehousing and Storage,
  • Hospitals,
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, and
  • Accommodations.

In addition, MIOSHA intends to direct resources to the construction industry with a goal of reducing fatalities by 10% over the 5-year period, with particular attention to falls, electrocutions, struck-by incidents, and crushed-by or caught-between incidents. The agency also seeks to reduce nonfatal injuries and illnesses in construction by 5% over the 5-year period.

The plan’s second major goal is to “promote employer and worker awareness of, commitment to, and involvement with safety and health to effect positive change in the workplace culture.” To that end, MIOSHA intends to emphasize the value of safety and health management systems, increase awareness of and participation in the MIOSHA Training Institute and MIOSHA cooperative programs, and communicate the benefits of workplace safety and health through initiatives and communication with employers and employees.

The final goal under MIOSHA’s latest strategic plan is to “strengthen public confidence through continued excellence in the development and delivery of MIOSHA’s programs and services.” In addition to some internal agency improvements, MIOSHA intends to achieve this goal by assessing new ways to deliver information and services and adhering to specified timelines for developing new standards, verifying hazard abatement, and responding to complaints and Freedom of Information Act requests.

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