Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda: No Surprises

Lots happening these days: the grizzly murder of a Saudi journalist, baseball championships (Go Dodgers!!), mid-term elections, Presidential temper tantrums about “Horseface” and “Pocahontas.” The usual. But by far the most important thing happening today is the Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda.  Release of the Regulatory Agenda is a much anticipated (for regulatory geeks) semi-annual event…

OSHA Weakens Workers’ Protections Against Retaliation for Reporting Injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memo Thursday weakening workers’ protection against employer retaliation for reporting injuries and illnesses. Section 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) of the Obama administrations 2016 “Electronic Recordkeeping Rule” told employers that “You must not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.” According to…

Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Battle for Workplace Health and Safety: Short Stuff

The Little Program That Refuses To Die: OSHA announced its 2018 Susan Harwood Grant Awardees last week. This is the $10 million life-saving training grant program that the Trump administration (and Republicans in the House of Representatives try unsuccessfully to kill every year. Happily they’ve been unsuccessful, because the grants go to groups that provide…

Public Employees at Risk: America’s Second-Class Citizens

What do Moises Dominguez, Cameron Leeds and Charlie McLaughlin have in common? All of them are public employees listed in the most recent “Weekly Toll” list of workers killed in the workplace last week.* But the similarities stop there.  An full investigation will be conducted on the death of Dominguez, who worked for the city…

“We mean nothing to no one” — Slaughter In The Trenches

It never stops. Two workers, Juan Baez-Sanchez, 42, and Victoriano Garcia-Perez, 56, both Mexican immigrants, died in the collapse of a 12 foot deep trench outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week.  The men, who worked for Mountain West Services, owned by developer Jamie Mackay, were working alone.  The trench may have collapsed hours before…

FY 2019 OSHA Budget Is Here: Good News, But More Work to be Done

Happy New Year!!! Hope you’re not still hung over from celebrating the dawn of Fiscal Year 2019. Well wake up, we have some shocking and fairly good news (considering…) For the first time practically in recorded memory, the Labor-HHS-Education budget, which includes OSHA, MSHA and NIOSH, was passed and signed into law before the beginning…

Working in Mordor: Workers and the Hazards of Oil & Gas Pipeline Work

It is Halloween night, 2016, and, as I reach the outskirts of town, it feels as though I am entering Mordor. Bursts of red and yellow flames shoot up out of the earth, illuminating the pitch darkness. These are the byproducts of oil fracking, the natural gas and methane that are burned away by producers…