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those consensus standards, a large number of irrelevant ingredients got on our books. Mr. OBEY. A lot of them are pretty old.
Mr. Corn. Very old. When we tried to trace the record—the records are missing, the formal records of when they were adopted.
EMPLOYMENT IN SAFETY STANDARDS ACTIVITY
Mr. OBEY. Let me ask you a question: How many people do you have working in the Safety Standards Division?
Mr. WRENN. The entire complement of the Division of Safety Standards development comprises approximately slightly more than 50 employees, professional, clerical, and support. Approximately 30 to 32 professionals.
Mr. OBEY. Can you tell me again, as has been indicated by several other people here today—as practicing politicians, when we run into trouble, we are required to try to do something about it immediately. With all of the questions being raised about the nuisance standards, why did it take-you have 55 people in that shop—why did it take so long for them to begin the job of reviewing and culling and eliminating and shaping up those standards ?
Mr. CORN. First, I think in retrospect, we may have had more problems if they had culled and reviewed. We are approaching this matter with public comment. We have been surprised by some things that seemed obvious to us as candidates for removal, with some of the input that comes in. Mr. OBEY. Couldn't it have been done with public comment earlier ? Mr. CORN. Yes. Mr. OBEY. My basic question is, if they couldn't do it, what are we doing? Do we need the 55 people down there? How do we justify retaining them if they were sitting there for umpteen years and didn't even deal with a question that basic?
Mr. Corn. Well, they were not working on culling the standards on the books. They were working on proposed standards
which would be proposed as new standards. The priority for culling has surfaced recently in response to the justified protest of many people out there, that this should be a high priority item. And we are now on that track. We were not on it. I cannot address why priorities were set
in other ways.
NUMBER OF INSPECTORS ONBOARD
Mr. OBEY. You answered this before but I was on the phone. How
Mr. CORN. 248.
Mr. OBEY. How many inspections by hygienists were conducted last year?
Mr. Corn. Approximately 7,300.
Mr. OBEY. How many safety inspections ?
Mr. OBEY. So you have 20 percent to health, and yet they were only able to conduct about 10 percent of the inspections?
Mr. CORN. Of the 248, 113 are fully qualified. The remainder are these apprentice beginner categories.
Mr. CONCKLIN. Mr. Obey, I would also add to that that based on our experience to date with health inspections, and our best estimates of what is going to be required in the future, a health inspection may range within 3 to 5 times the amount of time
Mr. OBEY. What I am trying to get at is given the number of safety inspectors you have on board today, if we were trying to get the same amount of health inspections as we had safety inspections, how many people
would we be talking about having on board sometime down the line? Say if that was our goal 5 years from now-how many more health inspectors would you need ?
Mr. Corn. You would need more health inspectors than safety inspectors to do the equivalent job. The exact number is not clear as yet. But health inspections take longer than safety inspections.
Mr. OBEY. Could you give us for the record—I am going to leave after this question, and come back after I vote_could you put in the record an indication of, a ballpark figure, of how many people you think you need?
Mr. CORN. Yes, sir.
HEALTH INSPECTIONS NEEDED TO EQUAL SAFETY INSPECTIONS Excluding followup inspections which are made to determine that violations cited on a previous inspection have been abated, the average time required for safety inspections in fiscal year 1975 was 10.1 hours as compared with 18.9 hours for health inspections. On the basis of this data, 1,965 health inspectors would be required to equal the number of inspections which OSHA's presently authorized safety inspectors can perform, or about 1,500 more health inspectors than the number now authorized. The time factors used for this calculation ignore the fact, however, that a majority of the health inspections made in fiscal year 1975 were referrals from safety inspectors and therefore did not constitute "full” inspections—that is, the health inspector was requested by the safety inspector to look for and evaluate specific health hazards as opposed to making a complete inspection. Taking the conservative estimate that a full health inspection requires on the average three times as long as a safety inspection, more than 3,000 health inspectors would be needed to equal the inspections performed by safety inspectors.
Mr. OBEY. Double.it, triple it, what are we talking about?
TRAINING REQUIRED FOR HEALTH INSPECTORS
Mr. OBEY. Can you tell me again what kind of training does one need to qualify as a health inspector? I know it varies.
Mr. Corn. Prior to assuming this position, I was responsible for a graduate program in the Department of Occupational Health, a 1-year program for industrial hygienists—11 months, which incorporated a knowledge of the agents that affect the body, how to measure them, how you control them, where they come from, human physiology, toxicology—all of these ingredients are part of a health compliance effort. I am not suggesting that we intend to give the people we have 11 months of formalized training. We anticipate somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 months during the first year of employment, apprenticing them to a senior person, and signing them off for types of facilities. So if they perform a health inspection of a foundry several times, they will be cleared for foundry inspections. They then go to a chemical facility and they will be cleared for that. With this type of field training combined with classroom training, I think over a period of a year you will have a person who can perform health inspections. Still not an industrial hygienist. As you may know, the Industrial Hygiene Association is protesting our approach to the role of industrial hygienist. They feel this is not quite adequate.
Mr. OBEY. What are they saying?
Mr. Corn. They are saying they need more classroom time than I am presenting here. But we are going to utilize them as restricted industrial hygienists, gradually bringing under their capability all the facilities industrial hygienists generally get into.
UPGRADING OF OSHA INSPECTORS
Mr. OBEY. Under the suggestions in the committee report to upgrade the skills of OSHA inspectors can you tell me where that training is taking place?
Mr. Corn. At the present time, it is taking place in Chicago at our Rosemont Institute, near Chicago. For the extensive increased training we are talking about, I hope much of it will take place in area and regional offices.
Mr. OBEY. You mentioned something about—and again I was on the phone when you mentioned it—we gave you how many new inspectors last year—330? And you said--what did you say you had doneyou had imposed a freeze on hiring?
Mr. Corn. Approximately 5 to 6 weeks ago I closed hiring, pending the issuance of these hiring guidelines.
Mr. OBEY. What would your plans be in terms of the number of health versus the number of safety people?
Mr. Corn. For the new positions? The bulk of them will be in the health area. Virtually all of them.
Mr. OBEY. On this training you are talking about at Rosemont, who will be trained there-only the new ones, or those presently on as well?
Mr. CORN. During the coming year and a half, all of the safety inspectors will be going through a primer in occupational health, and
Mr. OBEY. They will spend how much time out there?
Mr. Corn. We estimate approximately 2 weeks for all safety compliance officers, for the first principles of health inspection.
Mr. OBEY. Let me ask you this. How does this work? At the end of a training session, do you give tests?
Mr. Corn. We have not. I am also injecting that ingredient into our training—that there will be testing as part of the training.
UNSATISFACTORY COMPLIANCE OFFICERS
Mr. OBEY. Say you hire an inspector, he goes to the training program, then he doesn't measure up on a test. Can you can him?
Mr. Corn. We have been discussing this, and the present approach will be that he will be spotted and flagged if he is weak. The entire first year will be a year trial period. During his first period through the training he will be spotted. Word will be given to his area director, “You have a guy here who has to be watched." I am told in our discussions we can approach this on a trial basis and the
an could be released.
Mr. OBEY. But you are stuck with him for a year?
Mr. Corn. No; I am not. But the entire first year would be the trial period. Action could be taken during the entire first year as we are working this out.
Mr. OBEY. You can get rid of anybody who does not–because that wasn't my understanding.
Mr. CORN. For new hires.
Mr. PLUMMER. Mr. Obey, as you know, people who have tenure under the civil service structure are also covered by the national field labor laws, covered by various rules, regulations, under the civil service. If we are going to take adverse action procedure against an employee, we have to give him 90 days' notice, we have to take in some ways cumbersome notification in writing to the employee, we have to sit down and counsel with the employee. You can take adverse action. But it is a time-consuming process with a person who has tenure.
Mr. Obey. Very complicated and frustrating.
Mr. OBEY. It just seems to me if you have a guy in the field as sensitive as this, and if he isn't worth a damn, you ought to be able to get rid of him. My question is would you have any specific suggestions which you think might be helpful in the way of amending the law so that you can get rid of people in a decent time frame if they simply don't measure up?
Mr. Corn. Let me mention one action I have taken, although perhaps it will not satisfy you as an answer. We do evaluate our field officers. There are 27 such in department evaluations now on our books. As part of that evaluation, I have asked the evaluation people to focus on individual compliance officers. They have not. They have focused on office performance. So we will be spotting those compliance officers who we think could utilize further training and effort.
Now, the emphasis here is to upgrade them, not to get rid of them. But at least we will be indicating where we may have some weak people out there in the field. I think that is a first step.
Mr. OBEY. That is my question.
Do you think that the problem can be serious enough that you ought to have greater latitude than you now have under the law to get rid of people who you don't think are measuring up, or are likely to measure up?
Mr. CORN. I think that with a consistent record of inadequate performance in the kind of role that we are assuming here, an agency should have the ability to remove a person, yes, sir.
Mr. Obey. I guess I don't know what that response means.
Mr. CORN. It means I think if we can show that a man consistently has abused the authority which has led to serious loss of life or limb on a consistent pattern, that man should not be in that position.
CHANGES IN CIVIL SERVICE LAW
Mr. OBEY. But my question is, are there any specific changes which you think you need in the law in order to give you more latitude than you now have, or are you satisfied with the conditions under present law?
Mr. Corn. I am aware of the procedures Mr. Plummer described, which fall within the civil service constraints. If I was aware of such an individual, as an administrator of this agency, I would be impatient with the procedure he has just described, and I would lean toward taking action faster. I do not think I can do that at this time.
Mr. OBEY. Is there any specific criterion which you would like to see built in the law to enable you to take whatever action you want to take? That is what I am trying to get on the record.
Mr. CORN. Yes.
Mr. Corn. I would supply you with such criteria. I think this has to give the benefit of defense to the man, and the burden of proof should be on me as the administrator of the agency. But due process here is involved.
Mr. OBEY. I recognize that, and I agree.
But there are a lot of complaints about civil service statutes every day. I just wondered what yours is.
Mr. Corn. I don't know the civil service procedures well enough yet to point to the inadequacies. I am pointing here to the slowness of the procedures that Mr. Plummer has outlined, and saying that I would like some more rapid procedure, and I would be pleased to provide you with some suggestions.
[The information follows:]
(CLERK's Note.—The Department was unable to furnish the information.]
Mr. OBEY. Why don't you do that? I think that would be helpful.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to put in the record at this point a series of questions to which I would like Mr. Corn to respond on State programs—and then turn to a couple of other questions.
How many people are involved in setting health standards in OSHA!