Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Amirite?
In hindsight, it's easier to know what you ought to or ought not to have done. But, as we're watching events unfold in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to gain that wizened perspective.
We asked you all "What's One Thing OSHA Should do Less of." We saw some answers we expected: less overreach, paperwork burden, politics.
You also generously shared some of the genuine struggles and challenges that you face, either on the shop floor or executive boardroom. Unfortunately, these obstacles can—and do—get in the way of real progress. Especially when you're constantly being asked to do more with less.
So, once we heard your grievances, we wanted to hear your solutions. We wanted to know what OSHA should do more of—or how else the agency should be spending its time.
Not surprisingly, you had some sensical and practical suggestions. After all, we're always espousing the benefits of talking to people who do the work to find ways to make it safer. That applies to workplace safety, too.
We hope reading these answers from your fellow safety professionals empowers you. That could mean submitting a comment to OSHA on a ruling, being persistent about getting a response from OSHA and finding new ways to work with the agency. We also hope it inspires OSHA to get out of the Beltway and speak with more people, too.
Most importantly, we hope seeing these answers encourages you to keep persisting and keep making a difference at your workplace. Wherever you are and with whatever tools and capacity you can.
Safety leadership is not confined to a job title. And if we're going to make large-scale changes, it's going to require people from every department. We invite you to get started today, if you haven't already.
We asked these, and many other questions, as part of our annual state of the industry survey. We used some of that information from the 2022 National Safety & Salary Survey for our July/August print cover story. (Here are links to the feature story, "Are You Being Paid What You're Worth?" and an accompanying data breakdown, "Doing More With Less.")
We were thankful for the more than 1,000 of you who responded. We think OSHA should be thanking you, too.
Because, as this slideshow suggests, you have some genuine ideas and helpful feedback about things OSHA could do to help create a safer workplace.