The AFGE Health and Safety Program focuses on keeping the federal workplace free from
hazards that threaten the well-being of federal employees. AFGE emphasizes the need for agency health and safety programs that prevent injuries and illnesses.
AFGE provides technical assistance to the many activists who serve as local officers, safety representatives, and health and safety committee members. Today, with decreased OSHA involvement in federal workplaces, employees must take an active role in keeping their workplaces safe for themselves and their co-workers.
AFGE is increasing health and safety awareness among our members through educational programs. AFGE conducts training in conjunction with districts, councils, and locals.
The following series of online training modules, developed by the University of British Columbia, are a useful resource for AFGE locals and councils who are interested in developing effective union or joint labor/management health and safety committees:http://innovation.ghrp.ubc.ca/JOHSC/
AFGE provides information to help activists resolve health and safety problems, prepare grievances, and negotiate health and safety protection. This includes researching exposure risks, health effects, and current standards, as well as making recommendations for abating hazards.
AFGE thoroughly reviews and analyzes nation-wide agency health and safety programs, often providing comments and suggestions for improvement. Agency programs are evaluated to ensure maximum protection for AFGE members, including compliance with current standards and regulations, and full employee participation in the agency program.
AFGE participates in OSHA stakeholder meetings, evaluates proposed regulations and standards, and provides comments and testimony. AFGE also monitors proposed health and safety legislation, lobbying for measures that provide better protection for federal employees and against measures that weaken OSHA protection.
Federal employees have the right to a workplace free from recognized hazards [29 CFR 1960.8(a)]. When employees get hurt or become ill as a result of their job exposures, they are entitled to workers' compensation benefits, including medical care, wage loss replacement, and vocational rehabilitation, among others.
Federal employees also have responsibilities—reporting injuries and illnesses, filing claims for compensation in a timely manner, and returning to work when medically cleared.
Many of these rights and responsibilities are not communicated to TSA employees, and if they are, the information is often wrong or misguided. Sometimes employees are denied the right to file, transmittal of their claims is delayed, claims are controverted, and employees are forced to return to work too soon for fear of losing their jobs.
Click here to access a short online module on the basic benefits and requirements of the Federal Workers’ Compensation system.