Article 9

Health and Safety

Section 1--General

A. The Administration shall provide a safe and healthy work environment in accordance with Executive Order 12196 and the Department of Labor implementing regulations.

B. The Administration and the Union agree to cooperate in a continuing effort to avoid and reduce the possibility of and/or eliminate accidents, injuries and health hazards in all areas under the Employer's control.

The Administration will annually provide all incident and accident figures required by HHS and OSHA to the appropriate Union component Health and Safety committees.  These figures will be provided at the component level and will identify components and facilities.  The Administration will also provide Agency-level workers compensation figures required by HHS and OSHA to the General Committee.  The Administration will make available, upon request, raw data (incident reports, workers' compensation claims, etc.) at the regional office and headquarters component level.

C. Occupational safety, health and fire standards adopted by HHS will be used throughout SSA and shall be considered minimum requirements.  Special SSA Standards will be recognized as recommended standards for SSA facilities.  Deviations from either the HHS Standards or the Special SSA Standards will be granted only in accordance with AIMS 13.04.06.  At the time a deviation is requested, the Union will be notified at the appropriate level and will receive a copy of the request for deviation.  The Union, at the appropriate level, will be kept informed of the status of the request.

If it is necessary to alter AIMS Chapter 13, management will fulfill any obligation to bargain under 5 U.S.C. 71 and the Master Agreement.

Section 2--Committees

A.  Preexisting Committees

The parties agree to continue as presently constituted, health and safety committees in headquarters, each PSC, OHA headquarters and in each DOC.