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”…

Enforcement Update: OSHA Still Embarrassed About Enforcing the Law

Press Release Drought Continues When Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta testified last month before the US Senate, he committed to citing employers who have the information about how to make the workplace safe, but don’t do what they need to do to provide a safe workplace.  Well, to their credit, OSHA continues to enforce the…

Acosta Testifies in the Senate: Red Lights, Retaliation and VPP

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testified yesterday before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the Department of Labor’s FY 2018 budget proposal. As expected, there were very few questions dealing with worker safety and health, and unfortunately none on the Susan Harwood Grant program which is slated for…

Save Harwood. Here’s the easy way to Contact Your Congressperson

Labor Secretary Acosta just finished his last hearing before the Senate on the Department of Labor’s FY 2018 budget. We’ll report on that later, but the bottom line is he’s not backing down on the Administration’s proposal to terminate the Susan Harwood Worker Training Grant Program. Since its inception in 1978, more than 2.1 million…

FLASH: Trump to visit Department of Labor

Just got word that President Trump (yes, that President Trump) will be visiting the Department of Labor Next Wednesday, where he “will announce policy initiatives that this Administration will pursue to narrow the skills gap and to ensure that all Americans have good, safe jobs.” Secretary of Labor Acosta sent a memo to Department staff stating that:…