Worker Health and Safety Meeting; Future of Work Symposium

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Department of Labor Frances Perkins Building

200 Constitution Ave NW

Washington D.C., 20210

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Worker Health and Safety in a Changing Workforce

This meeting will introduce the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new draft Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, updating the previous version issued in 1989. The new draft guidelines are targeted to small and medium sized businesses and designed to better adapt to new business models. For example, the guidelines include a section on protecting the safety and health of all workers in multi-employer worksites. OSHA will announce the availability of the document on its webpage and request input from the public in finalizing it.

If you would like to submit questions in advance, please send them to publicmichaelsdavid@dol.gov.

This meeting is part of the Future of Work Symposium on December 10, 2015. A link for the full symposium and a description of the event can be found below.

https://2015-future-of-work-symposium.eventbrite.com

Future of Work Symposium

U.S. Department of Labor

December 10, 2015

Our economy is undergoing tremendous change and innovation, and shifts in the nature of work are creating both opportunities and challenges. In recent decades, a growing number of stable employment relationships have given way to something more arms-length – from contract situations to temporary employment to one-off job opportunities, or “gigs” – arising from subcontracting, outsourcing, and other forms of “fissuring.” Technological change is driving some of these developments, but these broad workplace trends are unfolding across both high- and low-tech sectors. Because they are taking place in many traditional sectors of the economy – hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. – and not just emerging sectors, they are already affecting a broad swath of the working population.

For some workers, changing work arrangements are empowering them to create value in new ways. And evolving technology and changing business models can improve capacity to respond to changing tastes and consumer demand quickly and efficiently. Yet they can do so by fostering tenuous relationships between workers and businesses, shifting economic risk onto workers and their families.

Our mission at the Department of Labor applies to the world of work, whatever forms it may take. As work changes, we need to make sure we are keeping pace. That is why on Thursday, December 10, we will convene business leaders, academics, workers and worker advocates, philanthropic leaders, technology developers and other leading thinkers to explore what these trends in the nature of work arrangements mean for the Department’s core work in the future.

How do we adapt Department programs to train workers for a changing labor market? What do changing work arrangements mean for access to benefits programs that the Department administers and safeguards, like retirement savings, unemployment insurance and others? How do we ensure that enforcement of core worker protections within the Department’s jurisdiction remains effective while allowing for, and encouraging, innovation? How do we make it easier for new-model companies to do right by workers?

Throughout these discussions, we are committed to avoiding false choices between innovation and basic labor standards, between profitability and security for workers. As President Obama said at the recent White House Summit on Worker Voice, changes in the economy have the potential to create “… new flexibility, autonomy and opportunity for workers. We’ve just got to make sure that as we continue to move forward, both in this ‘on demand’ economy and the economy as a whole, hard work guarantees some security as well.”

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Department of Labor Frances Perkins Building

200 Constitution Ave NW

Washington D.C., 20210

View Map

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