Today's News / Government Regulations

Federal OSH agencies cope with shutdown in different ways

AIHA's Trippler: More crises are expected

October 8, 2013

As the U.S. government remains locked in a stalemate – with a Pew poll showing that the GOP is getting most of the blame for the shutdown – disapproval of all politicians has hit an all-time low, with Congress earning an approval rating of only ten percent.

CongressWho are these people?

“That is almost hard to believe,” said Aaron Trippler, Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). “Not that the rating is so low – but who are these one out of ten individuals who believe Congress is doing a good job?

Trippler said occupational safety and health will be among the things negatively affected by the government shutdown.

At the DOL, OSHA furloughed 90 percent of its employees, declaring only 230 of its 2,235 staffers as “essential.” The agency announced that it will continue to enforce imminent danger situations and will respond to emergencies and safety and health complaints.

Regional OSHA offices will remain open, with very limited staff. Most state OSH agencies have indicated it is business as usual.

OSHA cuts more than MSHA

“At (Mining Safety & Health Administration) MSHA things aren’t quite as bad,” noted Trippler, in his monthly Happenings on the Hill report to AIHA members. “MSHA decided to keep 41 percent of its workforce on the job, raising an interesting question as to why OSHA felt it necessary to cut 90 percent of its employees while MSHA cut only 59 percent.”

NIOSH chief Dr. John Howard has said that the shutdown would not likely have a significant affect on his agency, because its core mission of research is long-term in nature.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the White House cut its staff from 40 to 2.

Trippler has heard people say that this reduction would bring the federal rulemaking process to a standstill.

“Not sure it could become any more stationary than it already is!” he said.

Hang on for the ride!

As for when and how the federal government might resume operations, the government-savvy Trippler can offer no predictions.

“What’s even more frustrating is that more crises are expected,” he said. “Why? Because this budget debate isn’t even a debate over the FY14 budget but whether or not to fund the government for a short 8-12 weeks and then the problem returns.

“Plus, the government will reach its debt limit by October 17. Hang on for the ride!”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

11/4/14 2:00 pm EST

Eye Injuries: You rarely see them coming. Practical Solutions for reducing injuries to the eye.

The 3M Eye Injury Reduction webinar will provide an examination of how to help solve eye injuries in the workplace. This issue continues to challenge virtually every industry, and the solution is often times multifaceted. 3M will share some new tools and approaches to help you in solving this issue.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN1014_cover.jpg

2014 October

This issue features articles about PPE safety and OSHA standards

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.