Trump FY 18 Budget Slashes Research, Kills Harwood Training Program and Chemical Safety Board

The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations. — Jacob Lew We previewed the budget late last week and that preview was pretty accurate. OSHA’s budget is essentially the same as the recently passed FY 2017 budget — flat except for the proposed elimination of the…

2018 Trump Budget Preview: OSHA gets cut, NIOSH gets Disemboweled

“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” ― Joe Biden If a President or Congress want to dismantle worker protections or other government programs, they don’t have to repeal or change legislation; they can work their damage through the budget process. Slashthe budget of a…

Industry Petitions OSHA to Reopen Silica Standard

Representatives of the construction industry, as well as general industry have petitioned Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to reopen the silica standard, workplace safeguards that would save over 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year.  This means that for every day implementation of the standard is delayed, almost two workers will die…

Short Stuff: Information to Make Your Life More Interesting

Raw Sewage and A Foot per Worker: The Labor Department filed a lawsuit against G Farms in El Mirage, Arizona for housing immigrant workers in “dangerous and unsanitary conditions and paying them illegally low wages,” the LA Times reports. Workers had been living in four yellow school buses and two trailers without windows, where they…

OSHA Press Releases Hide Behind “Cloak of Invisibility”

After almost four months, the Trump Administration’s OSHA has issued only two enforcement-related press releases, despite having issued well over 200 citations with penalties exceeding $40,000 — the former threshold for a press release.  The more than 200 cases with penalties greater than $40,000 since January 20 are listed below. The Washington Post today describes OSHA’s failure…

“Unavoidable Employee Misconduct?” No.

A coffee packaging machine gets jammed, and the employee, instead of shutting the machine down, reaches under the machine guards to unjam the machine, which starts up and amputates his finger tip. OSHA issues a $4,988 serious citation against the employer, Berardi’s Fresh Roast. But wait, says Berardi’s. The employee admitted he circumvented the guards, so…

OSHA Issues Second Enforcement Press Release

Could Alex Acosta be ushering in a new era at OSHA (or maybe re-ushering in an old era)? Yesterday OSHA issued a press release announcing $569,463 in proposed penalties against Antoneum North America after a machine amputated a 46-year-old worker’s right hand, wrist and part of his forearm.  OSHA issued three willful and two repeated violations of machine…

Walkaround: Trump’s OSHA Attacks Workers’ Rights

Summary One of the main challenges of running an agency like OSHA is ensuring that a mid-20th century law adequately assures worker safety and health under 21st century working conditions. The economy and structure of work is very different than it was in 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed:  for example, there far…

FY 2017 OSHA Budget Slashes Funding in Standards, Statistics

The FY 2017 Omnibus Budget bill that was released by Congress today provides a flat overall budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and a $2 million cut in the budget of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The standards programs of both agencies were cut, while compliance assistance was increased. Occupational Safety…