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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 29, 2006

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

SUBJECT: Extension of the Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) Initiative

On January 9, 2004, I established the 3-year Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) Initiative, and directed all executive branch agencies to participate in this Government-wide effort to improve safety and health in Federal workplaces. SHARE's four goals focus attention in the most critical areas of a safety, health, and injury case management program: lower total injury and illness case rates, lower lost-time injury and illness case rates, improved timely reporting of injuries and illnesses, and reduced rates of lost production days due to work-related injuries and illnesses.

During the first 2 years of SHARE, most departments and agencies reduced their injury and illness and lost production day rates, and significantly improved the timely reporting of incidents. From 2003 to 2005 the Government as a whole achieved a 5.5 percent reduction in an injury and illness case rate, a 2.6 percent reduction in its lost-time injury and illness case rate, and a 43 percent increase in timely reporting. According to the Department of Labor, which leads the SHARE Initiative and tracks and reports its performance results, Fiscal Year 2006 results will be even more favorable.

Therefore, I am extending the SHARE Initiative through Fiscal Year 2009 to reaffirm my commitment to improving the safety of Federal workplaces and reducing the significant personal and financial costs of occupational injuries and illnesses.

The four goals of the SHARE Initiative will continue to use FY 2003 as the baseline. The goals for the timely filing of workers' compensation claims (Goal 3) and reduction of lost production days (Goal 4) have been modified to recognize consistent and superior agency performance and, at the same time, to hold low-end performers to more significant and challenging performance levels.

Each executive department and agency will collaborate with the Department of Labor to establish ambitious annual goals based on its current performance in each of the four areas. Agencies are encouraged to work with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Employment Standards Administration's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to develop and refine strategies for improving workplace safety and health. The Department of Labor will continue to lead the SHARE effort by measuring and tracking performance and reporting to me annually on performance, both Government-wide and by agency.

Safety and health and return-to-work are important employment values. To ensure that workers are protected from harm, Federal supervisory personnel must concentrate their attention and use all the management tools and resources at their disposal to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Managers and supervisors should encourage Federal employees to perform their jobs safely, effectively, and alertly to remain injury-free. A safe and healthy Federal workforce not only preserves the Government's valuable human resources, but also contributes to the effective and efficient delivery of Government services to the American people.


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