Why should you include health and safety protection in your collective bargaining agreement? Doesn't the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) provide on-the-job protection? Aren't federal employees covered by OSHA?
While federal employees are indeed protected by OSHA regulations through Executive Order 12196, OSHA does not inspect federal workplaces routinely, only when there is a fatality or many worker complaints. Even when OSHA does an inspection and finds violations, OSHA cannot fine federal agencies. When there is little recourse for employees to get help with health and safety problems, it may be helpful to have health and safety provisions in collective bargaining agreements. The union can negotiate the provisions of the contract and file a grievance if they are not followed.
Of course, these are only ideas on what you can include. Under 29 CFR 1960 Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters, employee representatives have the right to participate in an OSHA inspection. However, if the agency has not been cooperative on this issue in the past, you may want to negotiate to include it in the collective bargaining agreement.
Negotiate for items that will strengthen your health and safety program. Don't try to rewrite the OSH Act into your contract.