CSB Has Largest Gains in Three Key Areas Among Very Small Agencies in Latest Federal Employee Survey

January 2, 2024

Washington, DC January 2, 2023 – The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board  (CSB) made the largest gains among very small agencies in three key areas in this year’s Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), according to a just- released report by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The CSB had fared poorly in recent years’ surveys taken under prior agency leadership, reflecting low morale at the agency.  This year’s results, however, showed substantial overall improvement by the CSB under the agency’s new leadership, and the CSB finished first among very small federal agencies (those with less than 100 employees) in the percentage of positive increase since last year’s survey results in three of the five “index” categories in the OPM report:

Employee engagement, which relates to employee motivation and assesses critical conditions conducive for employee engagement, including effective leadership, meaningful work, and the opportunity for employees to learn and grow on the job.  The CSB had a 29% positive increase.

Global satisfaction, which measures employees’ satisfaction on four aspects related to their work: the job, pay, organization, and whether they would recommend their organization as a good place to work.  The CSB had a 28% positive increase.

Performance confidence, which measures four items relating to employees’ perception of their work unit’s ability to achieve its goals and produce work at a high level: meeting customer needs, contributing positively to agency performance, producing high quality work, and adapting to changing priorities.  The CSB had a 13% positive increase.

CSB Chairperson Steve Owens said, “I am very pleased that morale at the CSB has improved significantly and that our dedicated career employees are positively engaged, motivated, and committed to the agency.  We are working together as a team to rebuild and revitalize the CSB and achieve our mission to protect communities, workers, and the environment from chemical disasters.”   

Along with showing such substantial improvements in the federal survey, the CSB recently eliminated its long-standing backlog of investigations.  From July 29, 2022, through December 26, 2023, the CSB has issued a total of 17 final investigation reports, more than the agency has ever issued in such a short period and its highest level of productivity ever.

The CSB’s board members are appointed by the President subject to Senate confirmation. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.

Please visit our website, www.csb.gov. For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at [email protected]

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