1.14.5  Occupational Safety and Health Program

Manual Transmittal

May 10, 2012


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.14.5, Real Estate and Facilities Management, Occupational Safety and Health Program.

(2) This IRM provides the purpose, authorities, directives and responsibilities for the Occupational Safety and Health Program.

Material Changes

(1) Directives that are not intrinsically policy or otherwise covered by regulatory requirements (OSHA, EPA, etc.) have been removed.

Effect on Other Documents

This document replaces IRM 1.14.5, dated September 16, 2011.


All divisions and functions.

Effective Date


J. Stuart Burns
Director, Real Estate and Facilities Management Division (REFM)
Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS)  (05-10-2012)

  1. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH) Policy Statement P-1-28, published in IRM, is applicable across all IRS activities and operations.  (05-10-2012)

  1. This section provides specific occupational safety and health policy for implementing IRS ESH Policy P-1-28.

  2. The IRS occupational safety and health program is managed in accordance with the requirements of the IRS Environmental Management Systems (EMS), as derived from International Standard Organization (ISO) 14001 and Executive Order 13423.

  3. The objectives of the IRS occupational safety and health program are to:

    1. Promote a proactive safety and health culture that supports the IRS mission.

    2. Ensure that all employees and managers comply with IRS safety and health rules, regulations, and policies.

    3. Prevent injuries, illnesses, and accidents involving IRS employees, contractors or visitors to IRS facilities.  (05-10-2012)

  1. This section applies to all IRS facilities, employees and contractors.

  2. This section establishes the IRS policy for compliance with federal, state and local occupational safety and health regulations, Executive Orders, and Treasury Directives.

  3. Environmental compliance is described in IRM 1.14.12, Real Estate And Facilities Management, IRS Environmental Program.

  4. Environmental and Safety Management Systems (EMS) requirements are derived from the International Standard Organization (ISO) 14001 and Executive Order 13423.

  5. Occupant Emergency Planning is described in IRM 10.2.9.  (05-10-2012)

  1. The IRS occupational safety and health program is based on the following law, regulations, Executive Orders, Treasury Directives, and IRS policy:

    1. Public Law 91-596, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act

    2. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees

    3. 29 CFR 1904, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness

    4. 29 CFR 1910, Safety and Health Standards for General Industry

    5. 29 CFR 1926, Safety and Health Standards for Construction

    6. 29 CFR 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employees Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters

    7. 41 CFR 50-204, Safety and health standards for Federal supply contracts

    8. 41 CFR 102-74, Facility Management

    9. 41 CFR 102-80, Safety and Environmental Management

    10. Treasury Directive 71-05

    11. IRM Policy Statement P-1-28

    12. IRS Guide to Penalty Determinations, (Document 11500)

    13. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®).  (05-10-2012)

  1. The Commissioner will ensure the provision of support and resources to achieve the IRS ESH Policy and to comply with federal, state and local environmental, safety, and health regulations.

  2. Deputy Commissioners and other Executive Managers, commensurate with their authority, will:

    1. Furnish employees a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

    2. Ensure compliance with the occupational safety and health regulations that are applicable to the IRS.

    3. Ensure compliance with IRS occupational safety and health policies.

  3. The Director, Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM) is the Designated Safety and Health Official (DSHO). The DSHO represents the interest and support of the Commissioner in the management and administration of the IRS occupational safety and health program. The responsibilities of DSHO are as follows:

    1. Establish and administer the IRS occupational safety and health policy and program requirements and carrying out the provisions of Section 19 of the OSH Act, Executive Order 12196, and requirements of 29 CFR 1960.

    2. Ensure adequate safety and health staff, resources, and funding to implement an effective occupational safety and health program at all operational levels.

    3. Establish procedures to ensure effective implementation of the agency policy and program.

    4. Develop goals, objectives, and measures for improving IRS occupational safety and health program performance.

  4. The responsibilities of the headquarters ESH staff, REFM, are as follows:

    1. Plan, implement, analyze and evaluate the IRS occupational safety and health program.

    2. Establish policies, procedures and directives for the occupational safety and health program.

    3. Provide technical assistance and guidance to field safety and health program owners, safety and health stakeholders, and business units.

    4. Report to the Department of the Treasury and other federal agencies, as appropriate, on the performance of the IRS occupational safety and health program.

  5. The responsibilities of the Senior Commissioner Representatives (SCR)/Site Coordinators (SC) are as follows:

    1. Advocate a proactive occupational safety and health program within their jurisdiction.

    2. Oversee the Safety Advisory Committees (SACs) within their jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of Article 27, Section 4, of The National Agreement with NTEU.

    3. Solicit safety inspectors and ensure that the appropriate number of inspectors is in place at all offices within their jurisdiction.

    4. Notify all managers within a specific building when a serious or imminent hazard is reported.

    5. Nominate outstanding volunteer inspectors and/or SAC members for appropriate ESH awards or recognition for their contributions.

    6. Authorize entry of an OSHA compliance officer to an IRS facility or office and coordinate the inspection with the servicing Safety Officer.

  6. The responsibilities of the REFM Territory Managers (TM), are as follows:

    1. Establish and manage occupational safety and health programs which meet IRS policies and federal, state and local regulations, in their servicing areas.

    2. Ensure the development of an annual program plan and budget that establishes safety and health objectives within their servicing areas.

    3. Ensure that safety inspections are conducted in all areas and operations under their authority.

    4. Provide resources and organizational support for correcting safety and health hazards.

    5. Designate safety officers for all areas under their authority.

    6. Promote safety and health prevention programs and information.

    7. Establish local safety guidelines recommended by safety officers or other personnel.

    8. Ensure that evaluations of safety and health programs in their servicing areas are conducted on annual basis.

  7. The responsibilities of managers and supervisors are as follows:

    1. Ensure operations under their purview are conducted in a manner that complies with occupational safety and health rules, policies, and procedures that are issued by the IRS.

    2. Ensure that employees under their supervision receive required training in addition to understanding how to perform their jobs in a safe and healthy manner.

    3. Support the safety officer in conducting investigations and gathering information on near misses, accidents, injuries, illnesses, and unsafe conditions.

    4. Ensure employees who violate safety rules are disciplined in accordance with the IRS Guide to Penalty Determinations (Document 11500).

    5. Nominate outstanding employees for appropriate ESH awards or recognition for their contributions.

  8. The responsibilities of employees are as follows:

    1. Comply with safety and health rules, policies, and procedures that are issued by the IRS.

    2. Report safety hazards, injuries, illnesses, and unsafe behaviors in a timely manner to their immediate supervisor and to the Employee Resource Center (ERC).

    3. Report occupational injuries, illnesses, accidents, and unsafe conditions on Form 9154, Report of Occupational Injury, Illness, Accident or Unsafe Condition, provide to the supervisor, and forward to the servicing Safety Officer.

    4. Participate in required safety and health training.

  9. The responsibility of Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (COTR) are as follows

    1. Identify and report safety and health hazards and unsafe work practices created by or affecting a contractor.

    2. Notify the Contracting Officer of serious hazards that a contractor will not or cannot correct.  (05-10-2012)
Employee Rights

  1. Employees have the right to:

    1. Review copies of appropriate standards, rules, regulations, and requirements.

    2. Request information on safety and health hazards in the workplace, appropriate precautions to take, and procedures to follow if the employee is involved in an accident or is exposed to toxic substances.

    3. Submit an ERC ticket for a safety or health hazard. A ticket may be submitted anonymously by calling the ERC (866-743-5748) or a Safety Officer, and withholding identification.

    4. Gain access to employee exposure records (their own or representative exposure records) and their own medical records.

    5. Request an OSHA inspection if they believe hazardous conditions or violations of standards exist in the workplace.

    6. Have an authorized employee representative (such as a union representative) accompany the OSHA compliance officer during an inspection tour.

    7. Respond to questions from an OSHA compliance officer.

    8. Observe any monitoring or measuring of hazardous materials and see the resulting records.

    9. Review or have an authorized representative review the Log of Work-Related Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA 300) at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner.

    10. Object to the timeframe set by OSHA for the employer to correct a violation by writing to the OSHA Area Director within 15 working days from the date the IRS receives a Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions.

    11. Submit a written request to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for information on whether any substance in the workplace has potentially toxic effects in the concentration being used, and, if requested, have their names withheld.

    12. Be notified if the IRS applies for a variance from an OSHA standard, and have an opportunity to testify at a variance hearing and appeal the final decision.

    13. Have their names withheld from the IRS, by request to OSHA, if they sign and file a written complaint.

    14. Be advised of OSHA actions regarding a complaint, and request an informal review of any decision not to inspect the site or issue a citation.

    15. File a complaint if punished or discriminated against for acting as a "whistleblower" under the OSH Act or 13 additional federal statutes, or for refusing to work when faced with imminent danger of death or serious injury and there is insufficient time for OSHA to inspect.

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