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In a move that could impact worker health and safety, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) will launch a $1.9 million study on job misclassification. “The misclassification of employees as something other than employees, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem for affected employees, employers, and to the entire economy,” according to the DOL.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) submitted comments on Jan. 22 raising questions about a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed-policy to allow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversight of aircraft cabin workplace safety issues. The FAA proposal raises the specter of additional oversight and regulation of business aircraft operations, according to an NBAA press statement.
Seth D. Harris, the Department of Labor's deputy secretary since May 2009, has been named acting secretary of labor. Before joining the department, Harris was a professor of law at New York Law School and director of its Labor & Employment Law Programs.
If OSHA’s fiscal year 2013 budget ever gets formal approval by Congress, part of the budget plan calls for cost-savings by consolidating three of the agency’s ten regional offices. States the FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification for OSHA: “In an effort to streamline agency operations, OSHA is reorganizing its regional structure and jurisdictional authority from its current operation of 10 Regional Offices (ROs) to seven.
According to the fiscal year 2013 Congressional Budget Justification document for OSHA, here are salary averages for agency personnel: Executive schedule (top officials in the executive branch) - OSHA average ES salary in FY2012 = $170,036. GM/GS grade employees - OSHA average GM/GS salary in FY 2012 = $84,959.
OSHA is considering allowing whistleblowers to submit their complaints online. That new method is part of a proposal by the agency to provide additional methods for employees to submit retaliation complaints to the agency, including electronic submission.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis last week announced a final rule to strengthen safety in the nation's most dangerous mines. The rule, which revises the Mine Safety and Health Administration's pattern of violations regulation in 30 Code of Federal Regulations Part 104, has been submitted to the Federal Register for publication.
The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog has a piece this week on the burgeoning costs of regulations. WaPo’s Jim Tankersley writes, “If you’re a business leader or conservative economist who worries that the federal government is strangling the economy in red tape, 2012 was a banner year. If you’re a consumer advocate or an environmentalist anxious for the government to do more to boost public health … ditto.”
Today, in compliance with settlement agreements, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized revisions to standards to reduce air pollution from stationary engines that generate electricity and power equipment at industrial, agricultural, oil and gas production, power generation and other facilities.
The number of federally-approved OSHA Voluntary Protection Program sites has declined in the past two years, after peaking at 1,720 in 2010. As of December 31, 2012, 1,633 sites were enrolled in the VPP. At the end 0f 2011, the number stood at 1,688 sites, according to data posted on OSHA’s web site.
This standard establishes the elements and activities for pre-project and pre-task safety and health planning in construction.
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