Kentucky and West Virginia Move to Weaken Protections for Coal Miners

When you think coal mining, your think West Virginia and Kentucky. And when you think coal mine disasters, you think West Virginia and Kentucky. Traditionally, West Virginia and Kentucky have taken a special interest in the safety of their miners — to the extent that they both run their own mine safety enforcement programs that…

History Lesson: Accurate OSHA Recordkeeping Key to Worker Safety and Health

The Senate will vote next week on repealing the Volks rule and thereby making it impossible for OSHA to cite patterns of recordkeeping violations.   The Volks rule restored OSHA’s traditional ability to require employers to maintain accurate records for five years. Throughout OSHA’s history,  Republican and Democratic administrations have issued major citations for widespread…

Barringer: Violate, rinse, repeat. Repeat again. And again.

Those of you who were quick on the draw may have noticed that for a few minutes this afternoon I thought OSHA had begun issuing press releases again. Foolish me. The source of my confusion was a recent citation against Robert Barringer III for $223,873 for four willful and five serious violations dated February 14,…

Utah State OSHA Plan: Good for the boss, bad for me?

The Salt Lake City Tribune (partnering with The Utah Investigative Journalism Project) published an article last week entitled “Death on the Job: Utah’s worker safety agency rejects ‘heavy-handed’ enforcement,” which, as you can probably tell, addressed a number of serious problem with Utah’s Occupational Safety and Health program (UOSH): no penalties for public employee OSHA citations…

URGENT: Senate Poised to Take Away Worker Safety Protections

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S.J Res 27/H.J. Res 83 repealing the so-called “Volks Rule.” Repealing this rule will make it impossible for OSHA to cite employers’ recordkeeping requirements in any meaningful way.  I explain below in more detail why the repeal of this OSHA regulation will make workplaces less…