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

“We need to be protecting our workers as much as protecting our shores.”  So says former OSHA head Dr. David Michaels in response to a report by Reveal and PBS about fatalities and injuries at shipyards that receive billions in contracts from the US government. The reporters point out intentional, knowing violations of the law,…

EPA “Reconsiders” Whether to Protect Communities Surrounding Chemical Plants

But as the ….government has promoted the [chemical] sector’s rapid growth, it has struggled with its impact on the environment. The chemical industry has quashed calls to strengthen oversight and force companies to publicly disclose what substances they produce. Local environmental bureaus are often politically feeble and understaffed. — New York Times, June 13, 2017…

FLASH: Trump to visit Department of Labor

Just got word that President Trump (yes, that President Trump) will be visiting the Department of Labor Next Wednesday, where he “will announce policy initiatives that this Administration will pursue to narrow the skills gap and to ensure that all Americans have good, safe jobs.” Secretary of Labor Acosta sent a memo to Department staff stating that:…

Trump Administration Continues to Attack Worker Protections

The New York Times takes another look at Obama administration worker protections that are being “revisited” in the early months of the Trump administration. Most of these stories — the Administration’s attempt to roll back the Beryllium rule’s coverage of construction and maritime industries, the delay in enforcement of the silica standard and proposed elimination…

Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants: Bad for all workers, good employers and workplace safety

Read this article in The Nation by Terri Gerstein. Gerstein was formerly  Labor Bureau Chief in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and a Deputy Commissioner in the New York State Department of Labor. Her article vividly describes why the Trump administration’s war on immigrants hurts all workers and helps bad bosses.  And without mentioning health…

The First Hundred Days of Trump’s OSHA: Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet?

Today is Workers Memorial Day, a day set aside around the world to remember those killed on the job — and commit ourselves to fighting to protect workers from preventable death injury and illness on the job. As the AFL-CIO summed up in its Death on the Job report, 4,836 workers were killed on the job…

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…

Beware of Trumps Bearing Gifts — or Ideas for Fixing Government

President Trump recently appointed his 36 year-old son-in-law, Jared Kushner,  to head up an effort to make government more efficient. Ron Klain, who has served in numerous top White House positions (including a very impressive stint as Ebola Czar where I worked with him), is skeptical. Aside from the fact that Jared has a few other…