Is OSHA Going Green?

Yes, it’s true.  OSHA is going Green and aligning with the powerful sustainability movement.  What will this mean to safety professionals?

The NIOSH Going Green Workshop held in Washington, DC on December 16th, provided a platform for David Michaels, new Assistant Secretary of Labor, OSHA, to present his vision for the Agency, focusing on “Making Green Jobs Safe” and helping to create “Good Jobs for Everyone“.

Dr. Michaels remarks, titled “Making Green Jobs Safe:  Integrating Occupational Safety & Health into Green and Sustainability“, present a vision that is consistent with remarks that he and others from OSHA have been making for several months. The five “Green Reform Principles” that he outlined during his speech, provide clear rationale for the key initiatives that OSHA has previously announced and aligns their direction with the more powerful Environmental Protection Agency.   

Like it or not, it appears that by aligning with the overall “sustainability” movement, in language and action, OSHA may have found a way to reframe its purpose.  Dr. Michaels is almost masterful in crafting a strong, value-based message that is easily understood by all.  If you haven’t read this on the OSHA site, you really should take the time. Here’s the link:

Is this new OSHA message going to be helpful to those of us in the safety and health professions?  What do you think?


Tim Sanders Would Probably Agree

It’s interesting that this new OSHA message parallels the remarks that Tim Sanders provided during ASSE’s Safety 2009 in San Antonio, and in his best-selling book “Saving the World at Work”.  Sanders, former Chief Solutions Officer for Yahoo and well-known speaker on sustainability was the General Session keynote speaker and shared his views on how safety is one of the key elements in the “Responsibility Revolution”.  This revolution in both thinking and action is happening all over the world, and is focused on changing corporate practices as they relate to the consumer, employees and the community.  His book is a really good read.  Check it out at:    You might want to read his blog as well.  Tim Sanders is a thought leader in the sustainability movement.