And, like many company presidents and CEOs, President George W. Bush wants those costs reduced. In a memo to the heads of federal agencies, Bush urged them to "strive to do more to improve workplace safety and health and reduce the cost of injury to workers and taxpayers."
According to Bush, injuries accounted for 2 million lost workdays in FY 2003, with approximately 169,000 injury claims filed by federal workers. The Department of Labor has been charged with spearheading a safe workplace initiative for federal agencies and employees and to measure the success of the initiative in lowering injury and illness rates.
The DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is taking the lead in developing the initiative, with guidance from other DOL departments such as OSHA.