Weekly Toll: And Congress Wants to Cut OSHA’s Enforcement Budget?

Worker killed after collision with SUV on Fargo airport runway FARGO, ND — A contract worker painting stripes on the runway of Hector International Airport was killed in a collision with an SUV early Monday, July 31, 2017, said Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of the Fargo Airport Authority. The name of the worker has not yet…

No Excuse: Confined Spaces Continue to Kill

I wrote a few weeks ago about the death of three workers in a confined space incident where the initial worker passed out and two would-be rescuers died attempting to rescue the original victim.  Last week, OSHA cited Douglas N. Higgins, Inc. and its related contracting company,  McKenna Contracting with 10 “serious” violations totaling $119,507…

OSHA Enforcement vs. Compliance Assistance: Myth vs. Fact

One of the most persistent — and distorted — arguments in the health and safety community is about how best to protect workers:  enforcement or compliance assistance? Republicans constantly accuse Democrats of ignoring the benefits of cooperation with employers and accuse them of focusing exclusively on enforcement and confrontation. That accusation is demonstrably false, but…

Sweatt Starts at OSHA as……..??

According to OSHA’s Organizational Chart, Loren Sweatt has now made the long voyage across the National Mall to become OSHA’s new political Deputy Assistant Secretary — and the agency’s first political appointee of the Trump administration.  I’m assuming she will be — in effect if not in name — OSHA’s Acting Assistant Secretary, although the…

Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Safety and Health: Short Stuff

“We need to be protecting our workers as much as protecting our shores.”  So says former OSHA head Dr. David Michaels in response to a report by Reveal and PBS about fatalities and injuries at shipyards that receive billions in contracts from the US government. The reporters point out intentional, knowing violations of the law,…