With the virtual halt to federal OSHA press releases on enforcement cases, ISHN asked veteran agency observers and safety and health experts for their input on whether the practice pays off in changing corporate misbehavior.
Since the Trump administration took over on January 20, very little news has come out of OSHA. Their charge from the administration is to keep the ship steady, no new initiatives or anything like that, according to the source, with close ties to the agency.
In the four months since President Trump took office, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued four news releases announcing penalties for job safety violations.
By the end of May last year, it had issued 199.
On February 15, Labor-Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration after it became clear he lacked the necessary Senate Republican support to be confirmed. Puzder had drawn criticism for opposing the minimum wage and expanding overtime eligibility.
In November, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced fines against businesses with workers who were killed when they were pulled into a wood chipper, burned in a refinery fire and crushed in collapsing grain bins and construction trenches. In all, OSHA issued 33 enforcement news releases that month, and over 50 more from Dec. 1 until just before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
With a new occupant in the White House, ISHN thought it a good time to conduct an online flash survey to find out what our readers think about the federal agency that most impacts their jobs, OSHA. Will OSHA change under the Trump administration? Should OSHA change under the Trump administration?
Nobody would want to drive a vehicle that wasn’t properly maintained and lacked important safety features. Yet at one shipping company that operates nationwide, Central Transport LLC, workers were required to operate unsafe forklifts.
In an effort to prevent and deter crimes that put the lives and the health of workers at risk, the Departments of Justice and Labor have put in place a plan to more effectively prosecute such crimes. Under the plan, the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will work with OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) to investigate and prosecute worker endangerment violations.
...Earlier this year in Houston, Texas, a worker was hospitalized with broken arms and severe contusions after falling 12 feet off of a roof. The saddest part of this case wasn't that the employer did not provide fall protection for this worker; it was that the worker had actually requested fall protection and the employer had denied it.