House Subcommittee Votes to Cut OSHA Funding

The House of Representatives Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee has reported out a bill cutting overall OSHA funding from $552.78 million in FY 2018 to $545.25 million for FY 2019, a 1.4% reduction.  It’s not yet clear where the cuts come from, although the $10.5 million Susan Harwood Worker Training grants have once again been eliminated from funding…

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…

Arkema Chemical Plant Investigation Results in Weak CSB Recommendations

The Chemical Safety Board released its report on the Arkema chemical incident last week. You may recall that during the heavy rains in the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey last year, the Arkema chemical plant was flooded and lost all ability to control the temperature of reactive organic peroxides.  The company evacuated the plant and…

Tesla’s Recordkeeping Violations Show How Repeal of OSHA’s Volks Rule Hurts Workers

One of the first actions of the Republican Congress after Trump’s election was to repeal OSHA’s recently issued “Volks Rule” that allowed the agency to cite companies for continuing failure to accurately record injuries and illnesses. Now an article by Will Evans at Reveal shows how real workers are suffering because of automaker Tesla’s failure…

EPA Rescinds Obama Chemical Plant Protections; Puts Residents At Risk

Five years after a catastrophic ammonium nitrate explosion in West, Texas killed 15 persons, destroyed much of the city, and launched reforms in the way the federal government oversees the safety of the nation’s chemical facilities, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week told us that he cares more about the concerns of the chemical industry…

Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Safety: Short Stuff

Michaels to Musk: Manage safety at Tesla and production will fall into line: Former OSHA head Dr. David Michaels has penned an article in the Financial Times calling on the safety-challenged automaker Tesla and its owner Elon Musk to learn the lessons of the safest companies. Musk has been plagued by production and safety problems, but…

Full of Surprises: OSHA Spring Regulatory Agenda Released

When Spring is in the air, this man’s fancy turns to (where else?) the 2018 Spring Regulatory Agenda to discover  what movement OSHA will be planning to move forward (or backward) to protect American workers from injury, illness and death in the workplace. And the news is not totally bad this time around. The good…