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Memorandum on an Occupational Safety and Health Program for Federal Employees

December 09, 1982

Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
Subject: Occupational Safety and Health Program for the Federal Sector

I am announcing today, through the issuance of the enclosed policy statement, a major effort directed towards the reduction of illnesses and injuries among Federal workers.

The human suffering which results from work-related injuries and illnesses in the Federal sector must be addressed effectively. Today, I am asking that each head of an agency or a Department review existing safety and health programs and, with the help and advice of the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, take every step possible to reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses occurring in the Federal sector. The Federal government remains the Nation's largest single employer and has represented in its workplaces all of the hazards found in private industry. Through effective administration, the Federal workplace can serve as a model for the private sector. That is what I am asking you to accomplish.

Besides our overriding goal of providing a safer and healthier workplace for Federal employees, this effort should result in significant cost savings. Reducing these financial and human losses depends on your commitment and the commitment of your senior staff, managers, supervisors and employees. I expect you to work together-calling upon the Department of Labor for assistance—to develop improved occupational safety and health programs for your employees.

I urge you to study your operations thoroughly to find more and better ways by which you can reduce the injuries, illnesses, and associated costs in your jurisdictions.


Ronald Reagan, Memorandum on an Occupational Safety and Health Program for Federal Employees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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