OSHA to Beef Up Whistleblower Program, Adding 25 Agents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), headed by David Michaels, is flexing its muscles all around, increasing fines, adding field inspectors, and now strengthening its whistleblower program by adding 25 agents to the 87 it already has. In making the announcement, Michaels lamented the high dismissal rate of whistleblower claims (63 percent) and noted […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

OSHA to Emphasize Enforcement of Worker Training

Effective April 28–Workers Memorial Day–the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will step up enforcement of worker training requirements, especially for non-English speakers. "OSHA will also assure that its Compliance Officers check and verify not only that the training has been provided, but that it was provided in a format that the workers being trained […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

OSHA Unveils Goals of New Strategic Plan

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its strategic plan for 2010-2016 with the overall objective being "good jobs for everyone," in the words of Secretary Hilda Solis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently held a Web chat to discuss its part in the DOL strategic plan, during which it characterized its overall […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

PAWA Set to Increase Civil and Criminal Penalties for OSHA Violations

The Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA), which is simultaneously wending its way through both chambers of Congress, would put new fangs into enforcement of the laws and regulations overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Now with health insurance legislation largely behind it, Congress is expected to move on several labor-related fronts, including […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

OSHA Issues Letters to Firms with Highest Injury, Illness Rates

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has dispatched about 15,000 letters to companies to notify them that their rates of illness and injury are higher than average. These so-called DART (Days Away, Restricted and Transfer) reports generally are followed up by OSHA inspections, if the past be any guide. OSHA has made no official […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

If Congress Can’t Comply With OSHA, How Can the Rest of Us?

Good question, and the answer is probably that complying with the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) probably requires constant vigilance. An Office of Compliance inspection recently showed that 70 percent of all Congressional offices exhibit employee workplace safety violations. The good news is that most of the infractions are minor compared […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

OSHA Set to Regulate Popcorn Butter

No word yet on what effect it will have on the popcorn you buy in the theater or microwave in a bag at home, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is set to regulate the use of diacetyl–the buttery-taste substance in commercial popcorn. Exposure to the chemical’s fumes can cause a horribly debilitating disease […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

OSHA Seeks Public Commentary on Combustible Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking (ANPR) on developing a standard on combustible dust. OSHA has identified the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and its standard NFPA 652 as the basis for the new OSHA standard. An electronic comment form and instructions are available at www.regulations.gov in Docket […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

DOL Releases 2010 Agenda: Welcome Back, Ergonomics

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its agenda for the coming year, and it has a few surprises to spring on American business. First (for discussion’s sake), the DOL wants each paycheck to come with a stub or explanation of hours worked, overtime paid and everything else that went into the computation of the […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top

David Michaels Confirmed by Voice Vote as OSHA Head

The Senate, without a committee confirmation hearing or discussion on the floor, has approved David Michaels as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in other words, the chief of OSHA. Michaels was confirmed along with a host of other nominees in a simple voice vote. Michaels from the beginning was a controversial […]

Read the rest of this entry »
GoTo top Top