Federal Employee Occupational Safety And Health (FEOSH) Program Overview
Congress established Public Law 91-596, The Occupational
Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) "to ensure so far
as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe
and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human
resources." Section 19 of the OSH Act contains broad responsibilities
and requirements for Federal agency safety and health programs
to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for Federal
Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs
for Federal Employees, contains, among other items, additional
responsibilities for the heads of Federal agencies and a requirement
for the Secretary of Labor to issue basic program elements
for Federal agency safety and health programs in conformance
with the OSH Act.
The basic program elements mandated by the President in Executive
Order 12196 are issued in the Department of Labor's (DOL)
implementing regulations in 29 CFR Part 1960. This OSHA standard
establishes and communicates the requirements under which
Federal agencies, including the DOE, must develop and implement
their FEOSH program.
Some of the principal provisions of 29 CFR Part 1960 is
29 CFR Part 1960 Basic Elements
Federal Agency Responsibilities
- Designate officials with sufficient authority and responsibility
to effectively support the agency head in the management
and administration of the agency's FEOSH program. The Chief,
Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS),
is the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO)
- Ensure adequate financial, personnel, equipment, materials,
and other resources to effectively implement and administer
the agency's FEOSH program.
- Furnish employees with employment places and conditions
that are free from recognized hazards which cause or are
likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
- Comply with applicable OSHA Standards promulgated under
Section 6 of the OSH Act (e.g., 29 CFR Part 1910 and 1926),
or with alternate safety and health standards issued pursuant
to 29 CFR Part 1960.17.
- Develop and adopt supplementary necessary and appropriate
standards for application to agency employees' working conditions
for which OSHA has not promulgated an appropriate standard.
- Develop, implement, and evaluate a FEOSH program in accordance
with Section 19 of the OSH Act, Executive Order 12196, and
29 CFR Part 1960.
- Acquire, maintain, and require the use of approved personal
protective equipment (PPE), approved safety equipment, and
other devices necessary to protect employees.
- Ensure that performance evaluation of management officials
and supervisory employees measures performance in meeting
the requirements of the agency's FEOSH program.
- Disseminate occupational safety and health (OSH) program
information to employees and employee representatives.
- Utilize personnel with equipment and competence to recognize
hazards. Inspect at least annually all workplaces with participation
by employees' representatives.
- Setup procedures for responding to employee reports of
unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.
- Investigate and report on workplace accidents.
- Post notices of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions
found during inspections.
- Ensure prompt abatement of hazardous conditions. Employees
exposed to such conditions shall be so informed. Imminent
danger corrections must be made immediately.
- Establish procedures that ensure employees are not subject
to restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or
reprisal for exercising his/her rights under the agency's
- Conduct OSH training programs for top management, supervisors,
safety and health personnel, employees, and employee representatives.
- Set up a management information system to keep records
of occupational accidents, injuries, illnesses, and their
causes; post annual summaries of injuries and illnesses;
identify adverse trends; and make corrective actions as
- Develop and implement a program of self-evaluations to
determine the effectiveness of the agency's FEOSH program.
Comply with all OSH standards, rules, regulations, and Orders
issued by the agency.
Use safety equipment, PPE, and other devices and procedures
provided or directed by the agency.
Employees shall be authorized official time to participate
in the activities provided in Section 19 of the OSH Act, Executive
Order 12196, 29 CFR Part 1960, and the agency's FEOSH program.
- Access agency safety and health information, including
data on hazardous substances in agency workplaces.
- Comment on proposed agency standards that differ from
- Report unsafe or unhealthful working conditions to the
DOE Order 440. 1B, Worker Protection Management for DOE Federal
and Contractor Employees, contains the required components
to be utilized by DOE Elements in the development, implementation,
and management of site-specific DOE Federal employee worker
protection programs consistent with the requirements for FEOSH
programs in 29 CFR Part 1960.
FEOSH PROGRAM ELEMENTS
Additionally, elements of the DOE FEOSH Program must include
the elements of a sound Integrated Safety Management System
(ISMS). These ISMS program elements are the cornerstone of
the DOE safety management philosophy.
The DOE Integrated Safety Management System information may
be found at: http://www.hss.doe.gov/healthsafety/ism/
An effective FEOSH program defines the program structure
and organization, assigns responsibilities for implementation,
promotes self assessment and program evaluation, to ensure
performance, and defines the integration of these elements
to provide comprehensive safety and health protection for
All FEOSH program management components (i.e., organization,
training, inspections, self-assessments, hazard abatement,
accident investigations, etc.) should be built around these
ISM elements. These "building blocks for excellence" represent
the larger perspective of FEOSH program design and implementation.
DOE Order 440.1B requires that DOE Elements implement a written
worker protection program that (1) provides a place of employment
free from recognized hazards which are causing or likely to
cause death or serious physical harm to their employees and
(2) integrates all DOE Orders and 29 CFR Part 1960 requirements.
A written program is essential to establish, implement, manage,
and support overall worker protection efforts. It organizes
and describes how worker protection efforts are formally instituted
at DOE sites. A written worker protection program implements
DOE Order 440.1B at the site level. It necessarily and appropriately
should be tailored to the present site activities and hazards
while remaining consistent with the Order's requirements and
intent. The degree of program detail and complexity will vary
among DOE Elements based on the scope of work activities and
For example, elements comprised of administrative office
functions and small to moderate staffs will require relatively
simple written programs, with few detailed technical components
and functional area requirements. DOE Elements comprised of
research, industrial, or construction related activities will
require substantially more detailed written programs, likely
containing a number of technical components and functional
Note that program documentation by itself does not constitute
a comprehensive worker protection program and may simply commit
to writing policies, procedures, and approaches that are already
It is the conscientious application of the written workplace
worker protection program, based on management commitment
and employee involvement, workplace analysis, hazard prevention
and control, and safety and health training that result in
excellent worker protection performance.
An example written program that you may use as a model may
be found at the URL: resource/feoshplan.pdf
29 CFR Part 1960 requires DOE Elements to comply with applicable
OSHA standards (i.e., OSH standards issued under Section 6
of the OSH Act). In addition, DOE Order 440.1B requires compliance
with the following worker protection requirements:
(1) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
(ACGIH), "Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and
Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices" (most recent
edition), when ACGIH Threshold Limit Values are lower (more
protective) than OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits
(2) American National Standards Institute Z136.1, Safe Use
(3) American National Standards Institute Z88.2, Practices
for Respiratory Protection
Because excellence in worker protection is part of DOE's
HSS Policy, compliance with OSHA standards should be viewed
as the minimum set of standards for worker protection programs.
In many cases, following additional requirements that are
not found in OSHA standards will be essential to achieve worker
protection. This will require the application of appropriate
consensus or industry standards or locally developed standards.
The following additional worker protection program requirements
are established in DOE Order 440.1B and must be integrated
into the written program described above:
- Establish written policy, goals, and objectives for the
worker protection program.
- Use qualified worker protection staff to direct and manage
the worker protection program.
- Assign worker protection responsibilities, evaluate personnel
performance, and hold personnel accountable for worker protection
- Encourage the involvement of employees in developing program
goals, objectives, and performance measures, as well as
identifying and controlling workplace hazards.
- Provide workers the right, without reprisal, to:
(1) Accompany DOE worker protection personnel during
(2) Participate in Order-specified activities on official
(3) Express worker protection concerns.
(4) Decline to perform an assigned task because of
a reasonable belief that, under the circumstances, the
task poses an imminent risk of death or serious bodily
harm to an individual, coupled with a reasonable belief
that there is insufficient time to seek effective redress
through the normal hazard reporting and abatement procedures
established in accordance with this Order.
(5) Access DOE worker protection publications, DOE-prescribed
standards, and the organization's own worker protection
standards or procedures applicable to the workplace.
(6) Observe monitoring or measuring of hazardous agents
and access the exposure-monitoring results.
(7) Receive notification when monitoring results indicate
they were overexposed to hazardous materials.
(8) Receive inspection and accident investigation results
- Implement procedures to allow workers, through their supervisors,
to stop work when they discover employee exposures to imminent
danger conditions or other serious hazards. The procedure
shall ensure that any stop-work authority is exercised in
a justifiable and responsible manner.
- Appropriately inform workers of their rights and responsibilities,
including posting the applicable DOE Worker Protection Poster
where it is accessible to all workers.
- Identify existing and potential workplace hazards and
evaluate the risk of associated worker injuries or illnesses.
- Implement a hazard prevention/abatement process to ensure
that all identified hazards are managed through final abatement
- Provide workers, supervisors, managers, visitors, and
worker protection professionals with worker protection training.
Functional Area Requirements
Requirements for specific functional areas, including Construction
Safety, Fire Protection, Firearms Safety, Explosives Safety,
Industrial Hygiene, Pressure Safety, and Motor Vehicle Safety,
are contained in DOE Order 440.1B.
In addition, DOE Order 440.1B delineates worker protection
program responsibilities and provides contacts for additional
information regarding the Order.
DOE Order 440.1A: resource/440-1a.htm
OSHA 29 CFR 1960: part1960.pdf
PL 91-596 OSHA Act 1970: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=OSHACT&p_toc_level=0
Executive Order 12196: resource/eo12196.htm
10CFR Part 850
Beryllium Disease Prevention Program; Final Rule
10 CFR 835 Rule; Occupational
Many of the resources and background materials needed by
safety and health professionals and others involved with the
FEOSH program are available electronically via the Internet
and the World Wide Web. These include various DOE Orders and
policies, the Federal Register, OSHA regulations and interpretations,
and other guidance.
The following URL takes you to some of the more popular web
sites for safety and health professionals. DOE FEOSH Web Site:
View the DOE FEOSH Program
David M. Smith, Manager
Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Health, Safety and Security
1000 Independence Ave S.W.
Washington D.C. 20585
||Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health (FEOSH) Program |
U.S. Department of Energy,
Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS)
1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20585-1290
FEOSH Program Manager: Carlos Coffman, HS-23, (301)903-6493 or Carlos Coffman