Bringing Back Child Labor: In Nursing Homes and Health Care

It’s the 21st century, so why are we still arguing about the safety of child labor? Continuing on its mission to deregulate worker protections, the Trump administration’s Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor has proposed a new rule allowing rule that would allow 16- and 17-year-old nursing-home workers to operate power-driven patient…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

Captives on the Kill Line:  Hiring immigrant workers — even undocumented workers — can be a headache. They get rounded up in immigration raids, move away or move on to better-paid jobs.  A much better and more profitable bet are prisoners on work-release. The Southern Poverty Law Center tells the story of one worker, Frank Dwayne…

OSHA Weakens Voluntary Protection Programs’ Integrity

OSHA issued a new policy document last week for its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), weakening measures taken in the last administration that were intended to restore the program’s integrity which had been threatened by uncontrolled growth during the Bush administration. VPP is a program, created under the Reagan administration, that recognizes sites that have “implemented effective safety…

Dreaming of Acosta Being Kicked Upstairs?

OK, it’s the weekend, so we can kick back and gossip and spread rumors.  If you read last Monday’s Punching In by Bloomberg Law crack reporters Benn Penn and Chris Opfer, you know that there are some management attorneys who are less than enamored of Alex Acosta’s less-than-stellar deregulatory accomplishments and wish President Trump would…

Acosta Refuses To Commit to Preserving OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

In a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee today, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta today refused to commit not to rescind OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule. The rule, issued in 2016, requires employers to send injury and illness information into OSHA and prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries. The electronic recordkeeping rule has…

Acosta To Testify Thursday in Senate on FY 2019 DOL Budget

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday morning regarding the Presidents FY 2019 DOL budget proposal. Unfortunately, the entire Confined Space staff will be busy that morning, so you can watch the hearing live here, or (assuming the video works and the crick don’t rise), we’ll provide our…

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

Kentucky Limits Black Lung Claims Reviews:  We have recently noted that black lung is back with a vengeance after almost being eradicated in the late 1990s. Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported. Well, the state of Kentucky is…

Acosta: Who Needs Government Protections In the Era of Yelp?

Yesterday’s House Appropriations hearing on the Labor Department’s FY 2019 budget was a fairly low key — mostly boring — rendition of how well Alex Acosta thinks things are going in Trump’s Department of Labor. I had intended to “live tweet” the hearing, but the Committee’s website was having “technical difficulties.” Rebecca Rainey of Inside…