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…

Acosta to Defend DOL/OSHA Budget Tomorrow

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing tomorrow morning at 10:00 am on the FY 2019 Department of Labor Budget. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will testify. Ticked Off About Tipping This should be a rather lively hearing for Acosta. Among the top issues he…

Reagan Dishonor Day: Video of How Reagan Dishonored American Workers

In honor of the dishonor of naming former President Ronald Reagan to the Labor Hall of Fame (better known today as the Labor Hall of Infamy), I’m posting a video provided by SEIU Health and Safety Director (and labor video historian) Marc Catlin which shows a prime example of the anti-worker Reagan legacy. The video shows…

Reagan to be Inducted into Labor Hall of Honor (sic) Thursday. Be There!

Following today’s attempt in the Supreme Court to kill public employee unions, the Department of Labor will top off “Kill the Labor Movement Week” by dishonoring American labor with the official induction of Ronald Reagan into the Labor Hall of Honor this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. EST. I’ve already written about Ronald Reagan’s Workplace Safety Legacy,…

Trump’s Worker Safety & Health Budget Again Undermines Worker Safety & Health

Earlier this week, President Trump submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. This is his second budget proposal, and like the first, although it left OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies.  And this is Trump’s second OSHA budget that has been proposed…