Does the Rise in 2016 Workplace Fatalities Mean that OSHA Failed? Hearing Report Part 2

At yesterday’s House hearing, Eric Hobbes, representing the US Chamber of Commerce, cited a rise in workplace fatalities in 2016 as proof that OSHA’s approach focusing on standards, enforcement and strong media coverage doesn’t work. But according to an analysis performed by the AFL-CIO, a closer look at 2016 fatality data shows that Hobbs’ argument is…

Report Calls For Studying Vulnerable Workers, Gig Economy, and Maintaining OSHA’s New Recordkeeping System.

Workplace safety and health surveillance and recordkeeping sound boring, but good data about who’s getting hurt, sick or killed — how and why– are vital to determining the need for safety and health protections, funding and where to put resources for inspections, standards and other strategies to keep workers from getting sick, injured and killed…

Blood in your food: Injury and Death on Farms

There are many metaphors that are commonly used in Washington DC . One of those metaphors is to describe something at “the third rail of politics.”  Wikipedia defines “third rail of politics” as “a metaphor for any issue so controversial that it is “charged” and “untouchable” to the extent that any politician or public official…

Trump Signs Repeal of Volks Rule: Workers Lose

President Trump yesterday signed the resolution repealing the Volks rule , thereby permanently removing OSHA’s ability to cite patterns of injury and illness recordkeeping violations.  The resolution, passed under the Congressional Review Act, is yet another step in the Administration’s goal of deconstruction the administrative state, or as the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne explained recently: In…

Work-Related Suicides: When work is so bad that you kill yourself

What can we say about working conditions when work becomes so bad that people kill themselves? Leeds University Research Sarah Waters published an article in Great Britain’s Hazards Magazine reviewing how different countries address workplace suicide and how little is known about the phenomenon: Studies in the United States, Australia, France, Japan, China, India and Taiwan…

Bush and Obama BLS Commissioners Oppose Repeal of OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

Two former commissioners of the Bureau of Labor Statistics sent a letter yesterday to Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA.), urging them to oppose S.J Res 27, a Congressional Review Act resolution that would permanently block OSHA from enforcing a requirement that employers keep accurate injury and illness records.…