by Dirk Dusharme and Alexander Karolyi

OSHA and Labor: 'No' to ISO Health and Safety Standard
TEAM Act Defeated
Employees Seek Culture
New Law Coordinates Federal/Private Standards
Recognition Helps EH&S Programs
ANSI and RAB Agree
Five Steps to Great Leadership
Tooling and Equipment Standard Released

OSHA and Labor:
'No' to ISO Health and Safety Standard The International Organization for Standardization is hosting a meeting in Geneva this month to discuss the possibility for an international occupational health and safety management standard. As reported last month in "News Digest," few U.S. stakeholders in occupational health and safety are excited about the idea. The problem seems to boil down to turf wars and labor-management issues.

Whether the American National Standards Institute, which represents the U.S. position to ISO, should support an international health and safety standard is "fraught with questions," says Joseph Dear, assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is already working to establish national health and safety standards.

Dear points out that since the United States' voting strength in the ISO process is disproportionate to its impact on the world's economy, there is a strong possibility that an ISO health and safety standard would not jive with U.S. health and safety concerns.

"The United States has only one vote in the ISO process, although it accounts for more than one-fifth of the world's economic output," explains Dear. "The European Union has done good work on occupational safety and health, but it has 15 votes. It doesn't take higher math to question the fairness of the process."

Dear also questions the impact an ISO standard would have if third-party certification of a company to an ISO standard would exempt that company from OSHA inspection-Dear does not want to relinquish OSHA's enforcement program. (Those who follow ISO 14000 will recognize that this is roughly the same question raised by the Environmental Protection Agency vis-à-vis EPA audits.) It's important to note that OSHA has a program called the Voluntary Protection Program that does exempt participants from OSHA inspection lists. Dear suggests that VPP could serve as a model for an ISO standard.

Labor's concerns with an ISO health and safety standard center around adequate employee representation and concern for the employee in the standardization process. Unlike ISO 9000 or ISO 14000, which deal with management and engineering practices, an occupational health and safety standard has more to do with human resources and labor relations, says Peg Seminario, director of safety and health with the AFL-CIO.

"I don't see ISO, as a technical group, being able to deal with the kinds of issues that come up in this context," explains Seminario. "And given that you can't deal with these issues without dealing with the rights of workers, the question becomes 'Is ISO the right organization to be doing this?' "

The AFL-CIO's stand is that before the United States moves on an international health and safety standard, it must first come up with its own national standard, says Seminario.

Much of labor's problem with U.S. acceptance of an international health and safety standard may have more to do with labor-management issues than any concerns that such a standard could not satisfy U.S. health and safety concerns, says Michael Wright, director of safety and health and the environmental department for United Steelworkers of America.

Wright points out that some countries, Mexico and Canada for instance, have labor-management safety and health committees that are mandated by law. The United States has no such law and, in fact, in the past few years, OSHA reform bills along this line have repeatedly failed in Congress, meeting strong resistance from business. "The companies saw it as a step toward unionization," claims Wright.

Although a good ISO standard almost requires a joint health and safety committee, it's hard to see how U.S. employers would accept that, says Wright. "How would you draft an ISO standard that would be acceptable to U.S. business on the one hand and the rest of the world on the other?" he asks.

Given the arguments posed by OSHA, the AFL-CIO and others (about two-thirds of the participants at ANSI's May meeting voted either "no" or "not at this time" regarding the proposed standard), it is difficult to see any kind of consensus coming out of the Geneva meeting.

Next month: the results of the Geneva meeting, and "Are there any U.S. stakeholders in favor of an international occupational health and safety standard?"


As promised, President Clinton has vetoed the Teamwork for Employees and Management Act. The controversial bill would have amended a section of the National Labor Relations Act, which rules that labor-management teams in a nonunion setting are illegal if the teams address important workplace issues with management (February and June "News Digest").

The Senate had recently approved the Senate version of the TEAM Act (S. 295) by a vote of 53 to 46. Last September, the House passed its version of the TEAM Act (H.R. 743) by a vote of 221 to 202.

Because there is no chance that the presidential veto could be overridden, supporters will drop the bill for now. "We're going to start working on it again and see what the elections hold, and try to make some headway next year," promises Jeffrey McGuiness, president of the Labor Policy Association.

Next year, TEAM Act proponents hope to get more democrats behind them. McGuiness claims there is a large block of democrats that would support the act if a few issues could be ironed out. With enough democratic support, the act could pass on an override should the next president also veto the act, he says.

Employees Seek Culture

Work environment is becoming a hot topic for those seeking employment, indicating that people are becoming increasingly interested in the quality of organizations.

A recent survey of executives reveals that, apart from questions about salary, job applicants inquire almost equally about corporate culture as they do benefits, according to Robert Half International Inc., a staffing service specializing in accounting, finance and information technology.

Executives were asked, "Other than base salary and bonuses, what do most applicants ask about during job interviews today?" Their responses:
Benefits 36%
Corporate culture 34%
Job security 15%
Equity opportunities 11%
Other 4%

New Law Coordinates
Federal/Private Standards

A new federal law will eliminate the duplication of standards between the Federal government and the private sector, and clear the way for federal use of existing international quality management system standards. Currently, companies that produce products for the private sector and for government often must undergo multiple conformity assessments. The result is increased product cost, wasted time and staff resources, and what could be perceived by trading partners as a technical barrier to trade, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Section 12 of Public Law 104-113, signed by President Clinton in March, charges NIST with coordinating "federal, state and local technical standards activities and conformity assessment activities, with private sector technical standards activities and conformity assessment activities, with the goal of eliminating unnecessary duplication and complexity " In other words, if the private sector is already doing it, there is no need for government to duplicate the effort (and the expense). In particular, NIST will focus on standards developed by private, consensus organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute.

Because the definition of "technical standards" includes performance-based or design-specific technical specifications and related management system practices, ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and related standards (including the proposed ISO Occupational Health and Safety standard) are covered by this law as well, says NIST.

In this regard, NIST will be responsible for coordinating federal support for international quality and environmental system standards and working with private-sector EMS and QMS registration bodies to ensure that federal viewpoints are represented. With NIST's guidance, federal agencies will work through the Government and Industry Quality Liaison Panel to ensure the use of one quality system per supplier in the federal procurement process, and NIST and other federal agencies will work together to develop recognition plans for the competence of private-sector QMS and EMS suppliers.

Recognition Helps
EH&S Programs

Many managers agree that reward-and-recognition programs are essential for improving organizational performance, especially when it comes to environmental, health and safety efforts.

As the role of EH&S programs has expanded in the last five years-from a technical function to a more integral part of corporate policy-the number of reward-and-recognition programs has grown accordingly, says a recent study of 45 companies conducted by The Conference Board's Townley Global Management Center for Environment, Health and Safety.

Key findings of the survey include:
> Whether cash or noncash awards are utilized, all reward-and-recognition programs rely heavily on symbols of recognition, such as trophies or plaques, letters of commendation from senior management, etc.
To enhance the importance of companywide recognition, many companies hold ceremonies chaired by senior management.
Employee compensation is an important component of many EH&S reward-and-recognition programs.

Unfortunately, for many companies, the EH&S awards budget is less than 1 percent of the total EH&S budget. Also problematic for compensation purposes is that most of these programs have not been formally evaluated or measured, and are often changed based on trial and error.

ANSI and RAB Agree

By the time you read this, the ink will have dried on the agreement between the American National Standards Institute and the Registrar Accreditation Board regarding joint ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 accreditation.

John Donaldson, vice president for conformity assessment at ANSI, and Joseph Dunbeck, CEO for the RAB, have been hammering out an agreement for the past few months.

Dunbeck gave us a sneak preview:
The agreement will establish the ANSI/RAB National Accreditation Program for quality management system and environmental management system registrars and course providers.
RAB alone will provide QMS and EMS auditor certification and operate accreditation programs.
The existing ANSI EMS council will be absorbed, intact, into the joint program, as will the RAB QMS program.
ANSI will represent NAP in the international arena, with input from RAB.
their separate accreditation criteria for registrars and course providers.

Five Steps to
Great Leadership

What makes a great leader? Well, for many, it takes more than a big office and a snappy job title.

A new grass-roots model of leadership has surfaced in today's business world, according to a recent study conducted by management consulting firm Zenger Miller. More and more people not traditionally considered leaders are performing leadership behaviors. And employees who have been considered leaders-executives, managers and supervisors-are no longer automatically seen as leaders just because of their job titles.

The survey reveals that successful executive leaders focus on five strategies. These strategies make up what Zenger Miller calls the CLIMB model.

Create a compelling future-by creating, communicating and sustaining a vision.

Let the customer drive the organization-by knowing what customers want and need and by helping the organization use this information to make key decisions.

Involve every mind-by giving employees and teams the responsibility, resources, training and support they need to improve both their work and the organization.

> Manage work horizontally-by focusing on interdepartmental work processes and the technologies underlying them, applying systems thinking, using analytic methods to analyze results and creating links among groups.

Build personal credibility-by walking the talk all the time, not only when it's convenient, by sharing mistakes as well as successes, by encouraging others to do the same and by demonstrating personal commitment.

The study covers 450 U.S. and Canadian organizations, ranging in size from fewer than 250 employees to more than 10,000 and including a mix of heavy manufacturing, high-tech and service industries as well as government agencies and educational institutions.

Tooling and Equipment Standard Released

The Big Three automakers' "Tooling and Equipment Supplement to QS-9000" was released this August, but, despite the name, it is neither a supplement to nor an extension of QS-9000, according to industry sources.

TE-9000, as it was nicknamed more than a year ago, is a Big Three document that takes the existing ISO 9001 standard and adds language making it specific to tooling and equipment suppliers to the automotive industry.

"The title is quite misleading," says Radley Smith, director of the automotive industry division for KPMG Quality Registrar. "Calling it the supplement to QS-9000 implies that the tooling-and-equipment people have to go through QS-9000, which they don't."

Because the supplement does not contain the text of either ISO 9001 or QS-9000, you must first obtain a copy of the ISO 9001 standard. The document adds tooling-and-equipment-specific criteria to the relevant ISO 9001 elements.

Although Smith says that the tooling-and-equipment supplement is a nonauditable document for information only, there are rumblings that the voluntary nature of the supplement may only last to late 1997 or early 1998. After that, mandatory deadlines for conformance will probably be issued. As one source said, "The Big Three haven't gone through all this in order to provide an information-only requirement."

For a copy of the "Tooling and Equipment Supplement to QS-9000," contact the Automotive Industry Action Group at (810) 358-3003 or fax (810) 358-3253. The TE Supplement and the TE Assessment sell for $5 each.