Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has renewed the two-year charter for the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), which will remain in effect until October 7, 2016. The 12-person committee was established in 1970 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act as an advisory board to the secretaries of Health and Human Services and Labor, making recommendations on compliance, enforcement, regulations and research.
Four of the committee's members represent the public, and there are two each from the labor, management, occupational health and occupational safety sectors, who meet between two and four times a year. NACOSH is one of over 900 federal advisory committees in the United States, whose activity is governed by the General Services Administration.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) acts as liaison between NACOSH and secretaries Perez and Sylvia Matthews Burwell of the Department of Health and Human Services. In recent times, OSHA has been updating a number of its health and safety guidelines and launching new initiatives, in many cases in collaboration with NACOSH or following the committee's recommendations.
The Administration also collaborates with other groups, both public and private, to develop its regulations. Most recently, as this blog reported, OSHA invited industry insiders to take part in a dialogue on how best to design new standards for workplace exposure to hazardous chemicals, and began collaborating with the Federal Communications Commission to expand safety training for communications tower workers.
Certified safety technicians can help companies achieve full OSHA compliance through training programs that teach workers and supervisors to identify and address potentially hazardous situations. Audits are also available to ensure that workplaces are safe for employees.