OSHA Earns Good Customer Service Ratings

Mick Jagger might not be able to get satisfaction, but that's not true of employees, employers and other OSHA stakeholders.

Mick Jagger might not be able to get satisfaction, but that's not true of employees, employers and stakeholders of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). A recent Gallup survey of nearly 2,500 people who had direct contact with the agency said they were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their dealings with the agency.

"This survey clearly shows OSHA continues to strive to satisfy its customers by providing them with useful information and opportunities for involvement in inspections or in partnerships," said OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. "Our compliance officers and staff are useful resources on safety and health issues. The survey findings provide information that will help our customer focus and help us deliver on customer expectations."

The survey indicated that OSHA met the four interim customer satisfaction goals for Fiscal Year 2000 set by its strategic plan and achieved the final (2002) levels for two goals. Some of the survey results include:

  1. Workers/employers who rated compliance assistance useful: goal 2000 - 65 percent; actual 2000 - 92.6 percent; final 2002 target - 90 percent
  2. Workers at sites with OSHA interventions who are satisfied with their involvement in the intervention: goal 2000 - 65 percent; actual 2000 -86.2 percent; final 2002 target - 90 percent.
  3. Workers/employers who rated OSHA staff professionalism, competence and knowledge as satisfactory: goal 2000 - 60 percent; actual 2000 - 87.2 percent; final 2002 target - 85 percent
  4. OSHA stakeholders and partners who rated their involvement in stakeholder/partnership process as positive: goal 2000 - 75 percent; actual 2000 - 87.6 percent; final 2002 target - 95 percent

The Gallup Organization survey of OSHA customers also found that:

  • 94 percent of workers and 84 percent of employers involved in inspections were either very satisfied or satisfied with OSHA staff professionalism.
  • More than 95 percent of businesses that received free consultations were satisfied with the help they received.
  • 98 percent of employers in OSHA partnerships found agency staff knowledgeable about OSHA rules and regulations.

OSHA plans to use the information from the survey to improve its services. For example, the survey found that workers were less likely to be satisfied with phone/fax investigations, where OSHA contacts employers by phone to report complaints and receives a faxed response. If the response is satisfactory, the agency takes no further action. Instead, workers would prefer more on-site inspections, more follow-up visits and a swifter response.

Both employers and workers wanted inspectors to be more familiar with their specific industries. Small businesses wanted a speedier response to their request for consultations and would prefer annual consultations. Other requests from those surveyed included calls for greater involvement of stakeholders, more partnership and more information, education and training.

"While this survey finds OSHA is doing many things right, we have many more challenges and opportunities ahead of us to improve our overall customer satisfaction," Henshaw said.

A copy of the complete results of the survey is available on OSHA's Web site at www.osha.gov/about.html.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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