Beware of Trumps Bearing Gifts — or Ideas for Fixing Government

President Trump recently appointed his 36 year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner,  to head up an effort to make government more efficient. Ron Klain, who has served in numerous top White House positions (including a very impressive stint as Ebola Czar where I worked with him), is skeptical. Aside from the fact that Jared has a few other…

Michaels to Trump: Show Workers You Care About Their Safety

In an open letter to President Donald Trump, former OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels asks the President to show workers “you care about their safety” by not signing the repeal of the Volks Rule. The Senate voted last week, and the House on March 1 to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal the rule that…

OSHA Resumes Preventive Auto Parts Inspections

OSHA today officially renewed its Regional Emphasis Program (REP) targeting auto parts establishments in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Following the devastating Bloomberg Business Week article about preventable fatalities and injuries in foreign-owned auto parts facilities in the South, Confined Space learned that OSHA’s auto parts REP had expired on February 4, 2017 and had not been…

Work-Related Suicides: When work is so bad that you kill yourself

What can we say about working conditions when work becomes so bad that people kill themselves? Leeds University Research Sarah Waters published an article in Great Britain’s Hazards Magazine reviewing how different countries address workplace suicide and how little is known about the phenomenon: Studies in the United States, Australia, France, Japan, China, India and Taiwan…

Large OSHA Enforcement Cases: Still Silence from OSHA — But Not From Confined Space

It has now been 41 days since OSHA has issued an enforcement-related press release. In 2016, OSHA issued 486 enforcement-related press releases. And if we do the math, at this rate, the Trump Administration’s enforcement press releases will come to approximately…. ZERO. Below is the second batch of large (over $40,000) cases that OSHA has…

Labor Department Delays MSHA Rule Requiring Mines to be Safe Before Miners Start Work

The war against the war against mining continues as the Trump Labor Department attempts to save the mining industry from yet another draconian regulation guaranteed to kill thousands of jobs. What was this onerous regulation?  A requirement for non-coal miners (“metal/non-metal) that “an examination of the working place be conducted before miners begin working in that place,…

Auto Parts Industry Enforcement Update

Last week, following the devastating Bloomberg Business Week article detailing the human carnage in Southern auto parts facilities,  I reported that OSHA had stopped doing pro-active (programmed) inspections in those facilities.  After I posted an analysis of that article, I read OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program (REP) targeting Auto Parts establishments in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and…