House to Hold OSHA Hearing on Tuesday

The House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections will hold a hearing on Tuesday entitled “A More Effective and Collaborative OSHA: A View from Stakeholders.”  This will be the first — and probably the only — oversight hearing held in this two-year session of Congress.  The Committee has not yet made witness names public. (Hint: not me.) Republicans will…

“Anything goes” Death at Goodyear — in the Workplace and on the Road

Goodyear Tire and Rubber makes tires. They also seem to be good a killing people in a variety of different ways — in cars because of their defective tires, and in workplaces because of their defective safety procedures. Reveal (Center for Investigative Reporting) writer Jennifer Gollan discusses Goodyear’s special talent in her article Treading dangerously: Lax…

Acosta Testifies and He’s Not Terrible

Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta testified last Thursday at a hearing before the full House Education and Workforce Committee, and although I take great pleasure in (deservedly) criticizing Trump administration appointees, he wasn’t terrible — as Trump appointees go. Now let me qualify a bit. I’m focusing only on workplace safety issues, not on any…

OSHA Enforcement vs. Compliance Assistance: Myth vs. Fact

One of the most persistent — and distorted — arguments in the health and safety community is about how best to protect workers:  enforcement or compliance assistance? Republicans constantly accuse Democrats of ignoring the benefits of cooperation with employers and accuse them of focusing exclusively on enforcement and confrontation. That accusation is demonstrably false, but…

VPP: An Important Tool or a Waste of Scarce OSHA Resources?

OSHA will hold a stakeholder meeting on Monday (and another in the Fall) to discuss how to improve the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs. So, now might be a good time to review what’s good and what’s bad about the program and how it could be improved. History of VPP As part of the Reagan administration’s…

Acosta Testifies in the Senate: Red Lights, Retaliation and VPP

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testified yesterday before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on the Department of Labor’s FY 2018 budget proposal. As expected, there were very few questions dealing with worker safety and health, and unfortunately none on the Susan Harwood Grant program which is slated for…