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…

Government Shutdown: What Does It Mean For OSHA — And For Workers

As we go to press, it looks likely that the federal government, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will shut down at midnight tomorrow night — for the second time in less than 5 years. I have two vivid memories from the last government shutdown in 2013 and how it affected OSHA and American…

Dispatches From The Front Lines Of The Battle For Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

Fake News: Former Bush Administration OSHA head Ed Foulke has boldly predicted in a National Law Journal interview that Trump’s OSHA will focus more on compliance assistance than enforcement.  That’s about as insightful as saying that a Republican administration will focus more on tax cuts. But what’s infuriating is his continuation of the myth that…

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…

Trump Slashes OSHA Staffing, Endangering Workers

When the same party controls the White House and both houses of Congress, there is always a danger that Congress will fail to provide appropriate oversight over government agencies. Congress is tasked with ensuring that government agencies are actually doing what the law says they are supposed to do, and that they use their budget…

Boiled to Death, Buried Alive and Leg Ripped Off: The Stories Behind the Statistics

One of the fathers of occupational health, Irving Selikoff, once said that “statistics are people with the tears wiped away.” Today, the statistics look bad. This week we learned that coal mining deaths doubled in 2017, and rose to their highest point in three years. Fifteen miners died on the job in 2017, compared with eight…

OSHA Is Bleeding: Shrinking Government and Killing Workers

Washington Post reporters Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Trim published an excellent front page article today chronicling Donald Trump’s largely successful effort to shrink the federal government: “By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with…

House Republican Budget Continues War on Worker Safety

The House of Representatives continued to wage its never-ending war on working people yesterday when the House Rules Committee voted to add 58 mostly anti-worker amendments to an already un-labor-friendly FY 2018 Labor-HHS Appropriations budget bill. That bill, you may remember, slashed the OSHA and MSHA enforcement budgets and eliminated the Susan Harwood Training Grant…

Kansas City Star Calls on Trump, Congress to Give OSHA Tools It Needs

Following up on its article (and my blog post) on the tragic trench death of DJ Meyer last December, the Kansas City Star has published a strong editorial calling on the Trump administration to “appoint a permanent leader for OSHA without delay. The agency should pursue an aggressive role in adopting workplace safety rules. And Congress should…