New OSHA directive describes communication with workplace fatality victims' families

A new directive from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gives OSHA representatives a guideline for how to discuss investigation procedures with family members after a workplace fatality has occurred.

The guidance was established to ensure OSHA representatives speak with a victim's family soon after an incident, establish a point of contact, and keep up a working relationship with the family.

"OSHA is committed to working with families to explain the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "This directive ensures that OSHA receives the necessary information from the family to assist in the investigation, and keeps the family informed throughout the investigation and settlement processes."

The new directive states OSHA representatives will contact the victim's family to outline the investigation process and timeline, and provide them with updates throughout the investigation process. When the investigation is completed, OSHA will explain the findings and answer any questions the family may have.

The measure is just one way OSHA is working to improve workplace conditions around the country. To help keep your employees safe and prevent occupational injuries and fatalities, provide workers with appropriate safety products such as hard hats and work gloves, and ensure all required safety equipment is in place.

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