Office of Occupational Safety and Health

The Office of Occupational Safety and Health's (OSH) mission is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our employees and visitors. We provide management and direction for Departmental Safety and Health Programs. OSH develops Department-wide policies that protect lives, property, and natural resources. The OSH develops policy and facilitates the Department's decision making process so that we can achieve, as outlined in our Departmental Safety and Occupational Health Strategic Plan, a safe and healthful occupational and recreational environment for our customers - Departmental employees, volunteers, contractors, concessionaires and the visiting public.


Department of the Interior, Safety and Health Strategic Plan



For over 160 years, the employees of the Department of the Interior have served as stewards of the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the people of the United States.  The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) mission is complex and multifaceted and the programs and mission stretch from the North Pole to the South Pole and across twelve time zones.  The Department’s mandate rivals any government agency in its breadth and diversity – and its importance to the everyday lives of Americans is inestimable.  Additionally, in these challenging times of increasingly scarce resources across the globe, DOI’s responsibilities are expanding as the Nation looks to its public lands for energy, water, food, wildlife protection, recreation, and enhanced security.


We recognize that an effective workforce will be more critical than ever to the continued success of the Department.  Our people define our character, culture, and capacity to perform, and our ability to achieve our mission is dependent upon conducting our work safely in hazardous environments, and where possible, providing our visitors and partners a safe experience on Interior-managed facilities and lands.

Mission Statement

Support accomplishment of the DOI’s mission by promoting a safety and health culture that recognizes and prevents injury and illness associated with workplace hazards.

Vision Statement

The DOI values our nation’s resources by valuing our workforce through Occupational Safety and Health Program advancements that protect employees, improve workplace and work life, and enhance productivity.

Enhancing our Safety and Health Culture

Knowledge of responsibilities and actions necessary to control exposures to Occupational Safety and Health hazards are an essential part of everyone’s duties in the Department.  Ensuring that our managers, supervisors and employees have the knowledge, skills, resources, and commitment to control workplace hazards will assist in our efforts to protect both our employees and the visiting public.  Senior leadership commitment to enhance our safety and health culture will ensure we remain an employer of choice and a trusted icon to the American public.

Strategic Plan Composition

This strategic plan has six goals.  Each goal includes strategies intended to provide broad direction to senior leadership within the Bureaus, Equivalent Offices, DOI Designated Safety and Health Official, Director of the DOI Office of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Bureau Safety and Health Managers.

Interior is determined to use these strategies that will hold executives and managers accountable for recognizing and controlling risk in the workplace.  The appendix in this plan correlates to the “Department of the Interior Occupational Health and Safety Program Elements and Associated Standards and Requirements,” and is intended to provide specific safety program guidance to Executives, Managers, and Bureau Safety and Health Offices in the formulation and implementation of their respective safety and health programs.  Interior’s managers and employees are responsible for implementing the program elements and accomplishing the mission and vision for Occupational Safety and Health.  Operational decisions influence our work environment and must contribute to maintaining or improving employee and visitor safety.
The DOI safety and health community will work with managers to implement and continuously improve the occupational safety and health program.  By developing Bureau measurable goals, commensurate with these strategies and within its respective capabilities, DOI will be able to evaluate progress and implement the most effective actions to meet or exceed DOI initiatives and the most current Department of Labor initiative goals (e.g., Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment “POWER” Initiative) for Federal employees, and most importantly, reduce the employee exposure to hazards that cause occupational injuries and illnesses.  

DOI goals fall into six categories:

Goal 1.  Enhance the Role of Leadership and Management in Promoting a Culture of Safety.

Strategy 1:  Leadership and management demonstrate responsibility and accountability for motivating effective safety and health program implemaentation through communication of policy that culminates in sfety as an organizational value.

Strategy 2:  Leadership and management demonstrate commitment and involvement through adequate budget formulation that includes sufficient financial and personnel resources, transparently and effectively allocating and managing those resources, to implement an effective and efficient safety and health program.

Strategy 3:  Leadership and management promote the occupational safety and health program through an awards and recognition process to engage employees in promoting desirable performance and safe behaviors at all organizational levels.

    Goal 2.  Enhance Employee Inclusion, Participation, and Engagement in Achieving Safety and Health Commitments.

    Strategy 1:  Employees/employee representatives demonstrate involvement in development and implementation of safety and health program activities through active participation on safety committees.

    Strategy 2:  Employees are knowledgeable in safety and health practices and promptly report conditions or hazards that promote unsafe and unhealthful work environments.

      Goal 3.  Prevent Exposure to Hazards and Mitigate Risk through Recognition and Prevention Programs and Processes.

      Strategy 1:  Prevent exposure through inspection, identification, prioritization, and tracking of corrective actions utilizing feasible, cost effective exposure controls.

      Strategy 2:  Implement a process to appropriately analyze and control risk associated with work environments.

        Goal 4.  Enhance Internal Evaluation and Analysis Processes to Validate the Effectiveness of the Safety and Health Program. 

        Strategy 1:  Implement an internal safety and health program evaluation process to assess and validate the effectiveness of the safety and health program which incorporates senior management-level reviews and follow-up action to ensure continuous improvement is attained and sustained.

        Strategy 2:  Implement a developed injury and illness analysis process that incorporates performance metrics and prioritized actions offering the greatest opportunity for risk reduction to control employee hazard exposures. 

          Goal 5.  Improve Occupational Safety and Health Training and Awareness throughout the Department.

          Strategy 1:  Identify, develop, and provide employees with occupational safety and health training appropriate and inclusive of rights, roles and responsibilities, hazard recognition and control principles and practices, selection and use of personal protective equipment, and job-specific safety and health training congruent with associated employee work operations and/or assigned tasks (e.g., completion of the online DOI Learn Safety: Authorities, Roles, and Responsibilities for Executives course).

          Strategy 2:  Identify, develop, and provide training for occupational safety and health staff (both full-time and collateral duty safety and health staff professionals) which provides sufficient knowledge, skills, and abilities to be able to carry out safety and health program responsibilities.

            Goal 6.  Implement and Continuously Improve the Occupational Safety and Health Program.

            Strategy 1:  Implement a developed program process that provides for the reporting and investigation of accidents and “near miss” incidents so root cause and the means to prevent recurrence are identified and shared throughout the Department. 

            Strategy 2:  Implement a developed occupational health program, appropriate for the size and nature of the work and associated hazards, and for which all employees, from senior management to the individual field worker, are knowledgeable of applicable policies, standards, procedures, and other program information to assure consistent application throughout all levels of the Department.

            Strategy 3:  Identify, develop, communicate, and implement fire protection and prevention procedures for employee protection should a disastrous event occur. 

            Strategy 4:  Identify, develop, implement, and communicate procedures and training requirements for the safe operation of all motorized vehicles and equipment.

            Strategy 5:  Contractors develop and implement site-specific occupational safety and health program inclusive of Federal, State, local authority regulations, and Bureau safety and health regulatory requirements. 

            Strategy 6:  Implement a process (developed by Bureaus and equivalent offices) for facilitating hazard reduction through inclusion of safety and health program requirements and risk controls within contracts for design, manufacture, and the procurement of goods and materials.

            Strategy 7:  Implement developed policies integrating safety and health processes into all high-hazard or specialized operations requiring additional safety emphasis (e.g., aviation, cableways, hazardous noise/hearing conservation, lockout/tagout, electro-shocking, explosives, rocket-netting, firearms, radiation, underwater diving, or watercraft operations, volunteer workers, Wildland fire, off road vehicles such as ATVs or UTVs).