Bush Extends Workplace Safety Program for Federal Government

October 23, 2006

President George W. Bush has extended for three years his administration’s initiative to reduce occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities within the federal government’s ranks.

Originally launched in 2004 and scheduled to run for three years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) helps the federal government reduce injury and illness case and lost production day rates, and improve timely filing of injury and illness notices.

According to the Departmnt of Labor, the federal government is on track to exceed all four of its workplace safety and health goals for the first time since the start of the initiative. If third quarter results hold, the federal government (less the U.S. Postal Service) is on track to end the year with an overall 16.7 percent decrease in the total case rate from the FY 2003 baseline; a 12.4 percent reduction in the lost time case rate; a 44.4 percent increase in timely claim submissions; and 6.6 percent decrease in the rate of lost production days, according to the government.

In extending the initiative through 2009, President Bush challenged executive branch agencies to “establish more ambitious performance targets” than the minimum goals established under the initiative.

“Fewer federal employees were injured, became ill, or died on the job over the past three years as a result of the SHARE initiative and a greater awareness of workplace safety and health,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. “We look to build on these tremendous results, which benefit not just federal employees and their agencies, but all American taxpayers.”

“Extending SHARE gives us a chance to make break-through improvements by building on the momentum of the first three years of the initiative. We can make major reductions in injuries, illnesses and days lost from work as a result, and everyone wins if we do,” said Shelby Hallmark, director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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