Occupational Safety and Health:

Uneven Protections Provided to Congressional Employees

HRD-93-1: Published: Oct 2, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) whether there are safety and health programs and structures in place to protect congressional workers; and (2) the working conditions in some congressional work places.

GAO found that: (1) at the Government Printing Office (GPO) and each of the congressional offices, except the Office of the Attending Physician, there were hazards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would classify as serious; (2) at all of the offices and GPO there were other conditions and practices that OSHA would classify as other than serious; (3) congressional offices are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act; (4) congressional offices are not required to develop and implement safety and health programs or to comply with OSHA standards; (5) GPO has a comprehensive safety and health program that provides protections comparable to those required by OSHA standards and regulations; (6) each of the congressional offices reviewed has some elements of a comprehensive program; and (7) each office's program lacks one or more of the elements that are required of federal agencies and recommended for the private sector, which include self-inspection for both safety and health hazards, a written plan for hazard abatement and control, safety and health training for employees and managers, and employee involvement.

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