Acosta To Testify Thursday in Senate on FY 2019 DOL Budget

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday morning regarding the Presidents FY 2019 DOL budget proposal. Unfortunately, the entire Confined Space staff will be busy that morning, so you can watch the hearing live here, or (assuming the video works and the crick don’t rise), we’ll provide our…

Corporate America’s Stealth Campaign to Stop Worker and Environmental Protections

Admit it. If they could, Trump and most Republicans would like to just get rid of OSHA, EPA the Consumer Product Safety Commission and any other agency — or law — that protects workers, consumers or the environment. This is all part of Steve Bannon’s goal of “deconstructing the Administrative State” — making sure that…

Written in Blood: Trump Appointee Reverses Lessons of Deepwater Horizon

They say that those who forget history are forced to repeat it.  But when it comes to workplace and environmental disasters, that’s not exactly true. Because while the politicians and their corporate supporters are doing the forgetting, it is the workers, the environment and surrounding communities that ultimately pay the price when the inevitable —…

Acosta to Defend DOL/OSHA Budget Tomorrow

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing tomorrow morning at 10:00 am on the FY 2019 Department of Labor Budget. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will testify. Ticked Off About Tipping This should be a rather lively hearing for Acosta. Among the top issues he…

OSHA Announces Delay in Beryllium Standard Enforcement

Chronic beryllium disease is not a pretty thing. It causes scarring within the lungs, which eventually reduces the lungs’ ability to function.  Symptoms include difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, joint pain, cough and fever. Over time it may lead to disability and death. It’s not pretty, but the good news is…

OSHA Hearing: OSHA has Great Tools; Please Don’t Use Them. Hearing Report Part 3

The messages to OSHA from the Chamber of Commerce at this week’s House hearing were clear: Don’t (miss)use the General Duty Clause as a substitute for issuing OSHA standards. Don’t issue any OSHA standards. The General Duty Clause: Great Idea, As Long As You Don’t Actually Use It One of the mantras that you hear…

House OSHA Hearing: What You Missed and What It Meant. Part 1

In a fiery rebuttal of Republican and employer attacks on OSHA during the Obama administration, former Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels yesterday rejected assertions that OSHA had focused only on confrontation over cooperation, and or that the agency had flouted the law and good safety practice when it came to enforcement, standards and media campaigns.…

The Gang That Couldn’t (de)Regulate Straight

President Trump frequently boasts about “eliminating more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.” This is supposedly a good thing for the American people, even thought most regulations are actually “protections,” protecting workers and consumers from health and safety hazards, exploitation, bad food — and being ripped off by their employers. And…

NY Times Story on Regulatory Policy Again Forgets Workers, Communities

The New York Times, in another rather questionable Front Page article, The Trump Effect: Business, Anticipating Less Regulation, Loosens Purse Strings, today discusses the rapture felt by American business resulting from  Trump’s anti-regulatory policies. According to Times reporters Binyamin Appelbaum and Jim Tankersley, because of Trump’s “regulatory pullback,” A wave of optimism has swept over American…