Congressional opponents of public protections spent much of 2012 attempting to increase the procedural hurdles to establishing new rules that would implement federal laws and standards according to the regulatory watchdog group OMB Watch. Efforts to attack the scientific evidence employed by agencies continued.
Discipline is among the most confusing and controversial topics in safety. On one hand, it is obvious that companies must have safety procedures and rules. And once those rules are established, it is crucial to support and enforce them. Managers know—as company attorneys routinely remind them—that if they know about a safety rule violation and they ignore it, they put themselves at risk.
Thou shalt not kill. People have been using rules to protect people since man left the primordial forest and walked up right for the first time. For people some rules are sacred—they are worshipped for their own sake. For others, rules were meant to be broken. Irrespective of your view of rules, they form the foundation of society of all levels.
At least one advocacy group is hoping that, with the presidential election out of the way, the Obama administration will move to strengthen health, safety, and environmental protections that got stalled during the administration’s first term.
A new report issued by a government watchdog group says there is little difference between the Obama administration and past administrations in their overall level of regulatory activity, nor is there evidence that a "flood" of new rules will be unleashed after the November elections.
The REINS Act passed last week by the U.S. house represents either "an extreme attack" on the safeguards that protect the public or a move toward improving Congressional oversight of the regulatory process, depending on which end of the political spectrum is characterizing the issue.