Houston, We Have A Fox-Chicken Problem…

While the new headlines are all about Hurricanes, health care, North Korea and tax “reform,” chickens around the country are getting more and more nervous as the foxes quietly move into the government agencies that are supposed to be protecting them. Over at the Labor Department, Justin Miller in the American Prospect writes about how…

As Mining Deaths Rise, MSHA Gets Acting Head — With No Mine Safety Experience

MSHA has joined OSHA with a new Deputy Assistant Secretary as the agency’s highest official until an Assistant Secretary is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. Wayne Palmer, Labor Secretary Acosta’s Chief of Staff since the end of May, was appointed acting assistant secretary for mine safety and health. The United Mine Workers union isn’t so…

Dispatches From the Front Lines Of Worker Safety and Health: Short Stuff

EPA Suffers From Shortage of Common Sense: Attorneys General from 11 states — New York, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have filed a lawsuit claiming that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposed two-year delay of the Accidental Release Prevention Requirements for Risk Management Programs is illegal under…

VPP: An Important Tool or a Waste of Scarce OSHA Resources?

OSHA will hold a stakeholder meeting on Monday (and another in the Fall) to discuss how to improve the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs. So, now might be a good time to review what’s good and what’s bad about the program and how it could be improved. History of VPP As part of the Reagan administration’s…

House Releases Labor Budget Bill — And It’s Even Worse than Trump’s

You thought Trump’s budget proposal was bad for OSHA? Well, our Republican friends in the House of Representatives have issued a bill that’s even worse, although we don’t have all of the details yet. The subcommittee’s mark-up session doesn’t start until 4:30 this afternoon, and we still may not know the details until the full…

Killing the Harwood Program Means Killing Workers

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services will vote Thursday on OSHA’s FY 2018 budget. Most of the OSHA budget remains flat, but there’s one devastating exception. The budget calls for the elimination of OSHA’s 40 year old Susan Harwood Worker Training Grant Program. Originally created in 1978 as the “New Directions”…