Workers Are Dying Because OSHA Can’t Do Its Job: Barab on MSNBC This Morning

Not too bad. And they even pronounced my name correctly.

If I had had more time, there are a couple of additional points I would have made:

OSHA’s budget and staffing are worse now than ever in the almost 50 year history of the agency: This is an agency that hasn’t had a budget increase since 2010, that is tasked with ensuring the safety and health of workers in 8 million workplaces. OSHA inspectors are at their lowest level in the history of the agency. In 1980 – almost 40 years ago when Ronald Reagan became president, had almost twice as many inspectors than it has today in an economy that was half the size of the current economy.

We know what happens when employers don’t think they’ll ever see an OSHA inspector:

  • In last few weeks, a worker was killed in an unprotected 25 foot deep trench in Ohio –5 times as deep as OSHA allows – working for a company that had previously been cited for trenching violations.
  • Another worker in a meat processing plant in Ohio died when his foot was caught in a machine which ripped off his leg — at a machine at a company that had previously been cited for machine guarding violations.

 

It’s not just lack of inspectors where OSHA is suffering: there is still hiring freeze affecting supervisors, administrative people, whistleblower investigators who make sure that employees aren’t retaliated against for complaining about safety and health conditions, and compliance assistance specialists who help employers and workers understand the law and how to comply with standards.  Inspectors may be the most important OSHA personnel, but you can’t run an enforcement agency on just inspectors.

 

Budget OSHA

5 Comments

  1. These issues need to be covered by all of the news agencies, electronic end print. Many people still don’t know anything about OSHA, or MSHA or NIOSH and that needs to change if the agency is to survive. I talked to a woman who was the next door neighbor of man who owned a company where a worker died in a trench collapse. She said he was a good citizen and a good employer. I countered that he was not a good employer and that he had broken several laws that resulted in the death. Incredulously, she asked which laws, so, I supplied her with information on the trenching and excavation standard, abridged of course. She left the conversation with a different opinion about her neighbor.

  2. Let’s see some of these high paid CEOs go to prison for fatalities and you will see a change. It’s called accountability. Don’t blame OSHA.

  3. culexpipien.com/index.php/2017/07/30/epaosha/

    OSHA hasn’t done their job and people are dying. Thank God Trump is cutting their budget.

    District Stalled from 2004-2017

    Evidence of perjury by Assistant Manager John Fritz under directions from Eddie Luchessi. Conspiracy violating state and federal laws while intentionally exposing employees to toxic gas used as medicine SDS safety data sheet formalin was used from 2004-2011 and stopped use during the District Attorney investigation of White Slough and many violations that have been ignored to date.
    Died January 14, 2009 age 59

    Employer Neglected to inform employees of

    toxic exposure treatments at white slough

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