OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) Takes Effect

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially rolled out its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) this past Friday, June 18, 2010. The program seeks to increase fines and penalties against companies that repeatedly violate OSHA standards. The SVEP “concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, […]

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OSHA Proposing New Slips, Trips and Falls Rules

Saying that many of the methods used by American industry to prevent slips, trips and falls are outmoded, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today (May 25, 2010) is publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to realign its relevant regulations. OSHA is looking to the construction and maritime industries […]

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OSHA Opens Nevada Office, Will Augment State OSH

Following a blistering critique of the Nevada OSH program in 2009, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is opening a Nevada branch rather than shutting down Nevada’s own operation. However, one might now reasonably expect much closer review and supervision of the Nevada OSH effort; in addition, federal officials said its Nevada office […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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