Legal Does Not Mean Safe: The Fate of Chemical Protections for Workers in the Trump Era

The fact that most OSHA chemical standards are old, outdated and don’t protect workers very well is something that government, labor and industry can generally agree on.  There is less agreement, however, on what needs to be done about that problem. But it’s a question that needs to be addressed, as an estimated 50,000 workers…

OSHA Delays Enforcement of Silica Standard

OSHA announced this afternoon that it was delaying enforcement of its silica standard in the construction industry for 90 days.  Originally scheduled to begin June 23, 2017, enforcement will now begin Sept. 23, 2017. Employers are still required to comply with the standard, but  so that the agency can “conduct additional outreach and provide educational…

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…

Michaels to Trump: Show Workers You Care About Their Safety

In an open letter to President Donald Trump, former OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels asks the President to show workers “you care about their safety” by not signing the repeal of the Volks Rule. The Senate voted last week, and the House on March 1 to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal the rule that…

Cars stained with the blood of American workers

If you read nothing else this week, read this: Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs. It tells the soul-crushing story of workers — mostly “temporary” employees — killed, dismembered, and permanently disabled in foreign owned auto parts companies producing parts for large auto companies like Kia and Hyundi. As the author, Peter…

Hurting Workers, Hurting Good Employers: More articles on attempts to repeal OSHA’s Volks Rule

You should definitely read every one of the articles below about why repealing the Volks rule is bad for workers, bad for good employers and bad for America. But if you don’t have time, I’ve summarized the greatest hits here: First, Nell Greenfieldboyce has a great story on NPR’s All Things Considered this evening, starring…

Bludgeoning our Caregivers: Workplace Violence in Healthcare

No one should go to work expecting to get hurt. And certainly no one should go to work expecting to get assaulted. Unfortunately, assault at work is a common occurrence for this country’s care givers — health care workers and especially nurses. And unlike many workplace injuries, violence is often accompanied by serious psychological trauma,…