October 11, 1983
Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies
Subject: Federal Occupational Safety and Health
The rising number of injury and illness claims from Federal employees has meant increased human suffering, a loss of valuable services from injured employees, and increased costs for compensation payments, which are rapidly approaching a billion dollars each year.
We must make the Federal government an example in occupational safety and health. We cannot allow conditions to exist in our own workplaces which would be unacceptable in the private sector.
On December 9, 1982, I asked you to review your safety program, take every step possible to reduce injuries, and make sure that you and your staff are committed to safety.
In the interest of protecting Federal employees, I am now setting a government-wide goal of three percent per year for the reduction of workplace injuries. The goal will be in effect for five years, starting with Fiscal Year 1984, and will cover both injury and occupational health claims.
Establishing this goal gives us a standard against which to measure progress. Specific goals for agencies will be worked out with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor.
I look forward to recognizing your safety and health accomplishments at a Presidential Awards Program next year.