Under Construction: The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH)

Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, announced through OSHA there will be 8 new appointed members for the Committee. Their job is to advise the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, on construction standards and policies.  The ACCSH has been advising the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Health and Safety since the 1969 Construction Safety Act.

Assistant Secretary David Michaels approved of the new members saying, “I am confident these new members, representing the interests of labor, management, government and the public, will use their expertise to provide valuable advice and recommendations on important workplace safety and health issues. We share the goal of good, safe jobs for all American workers."  What does this change mean for the public?  Changing half of the members means there will be fresher ideas and energy in regards to monitoring the industry as well as the creation of new campaigns to educate the industry.

What does the ACCSH do?

To advise the Assistant Secretary, the ACCSH creates work groups which are open to the public to draft positions on current issues.  These positions are then presented in full ACCSH meetings held twice a year and put in the hands of the Assistant Secretary to move through the government.  Once voted upon and final, they are posted through OSHA for all stakeholders to view.

Who makes up the ACCSH?

There are 15 members of the ACCSH appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.  The members are pulled from different parts of the construction industry and public to make sure all stakeholders are represented.  Two represent the public, five represent employees, five represent employers, two represent state governments, and one is appointed by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  These 15 members serve for two years and can be re-appointed at the end of the term.

Other OSHA Advisory Committees

In addition to the ACCSH there are three other advisory committees under OSHA including the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health and the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.  These groups are also constructed of different constituents such as the government, employee, employers and public and report to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Health and Safety.  All meetings of the committees are open to the public to discuss and understand new standards and policies.  Consider finding a meeting to voice your opinion for your company and influence committee members.