Category archives for OSHA
Since 2000, major regulatory activities by OSHA do indeed slow down during a Presidential election year compared to the year preceding it.
In our new report “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” we devote one section to key activities by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress.
It’s Tuesday evening and as usual, the small parking lot outside the Workers Defense Project on Austin’s eastside is packed. The dusty lot is strewn with cars and pick-up trucks parked wherever they can fit and get in off the road. I’ve arrived well before the night’s activities begin, so I easily secure a spot. But my gracious guide and translator, a college intern named Alan Garcia, warns me that I might get blocked in. It happens all the time, he says.
During the last seven Presidential election years, OSHA has an interesting record of issuing new rules on worker safety issues despite the heated national campaigns.
An internal OSHA report on the agency’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) was submitted to agency leadership nine months ago, and released to the public this week. The group made 34 recommendations to improve the program, including several addressing fatalities occurring at VPP sites.
Three multi-national corporations. Three workers dead from manlift incidents. Preventing more deaths from manlifts requires comprehensive fatality investigations.
President Obama offered high praise to his regulatory czar on the day Mr. Cass Sunstein announced his resignation. It’s disappointing neither are bold enough to address the grave limits of cost-benefit analysis.
In the fall of 2011, a new Texas statute took effect against employers who engage in wage theft, putting in place real consequences for employers found guilty of stealing wages from workers. It was a big step forward in a state where wage theft has become as common as cowboy boots and pick-up trucks. It was especially good news for workers in El Paso, where wage theft has become so rampant that workers rights advocates have dubbed it an “epidemic.”
The American Chemistry Council is making the ludicrous claim that a proposed OSHA regulation on combustible dust will negatively impact the economy and job growth. That’s a bunch of baloney. OSHA doesn’t even have combustible dust on its regulatory agenda.
Last month, more than 70 ironworkers walked off an ExxonMobil construction site near Houston, Texas. The workers, known as rodbusters in the industry, weren’t members of a union or backed by powerful organizers; they decided amongst themselves to unite in protest of unsafe working conditions in a state that has the highest construction worker fatality rate in the country.