The hiring freeze has thawed at OSHA, with agency chief Joe Dear announcing plans to hire 110 people now that OSHA’s funding has stabilized for the rest of the 1996 fiscal year. The budget of $305 million -two percent below the '95 spending level- allows Dear to fill 83 field positions (including 70 inspectors) and 27 slots at national headquarters (including the now-vacant director of safety standards position). Dear has no immediate plans to replace John Moran, recently departed director of policy. Frank Frodyma and Greg Watchman are filling in.
New OSHA complaint investigation procedures should cut response time from an average 40 days to as little as five days, according to the agency. According to the directive for the new process, workers’ complaints will now either be investigated by fax and telephone, or will result in on-site inspections. Conditions that will warrant on-site investigations include: if the complaint alleges physical harm has occurred and that hazards still exist; if the complaint identifies a hazard covered by a national emphasis program; or if the firm has a history of egregious, willful or failure-to-abate citations within the last three years.
In the case of a telephone investigation, an employer will be expected to provide a written response which OSHA will provide to the complainant, whose identity may be withheld from the employer upon request. The new system is detailed in a compliance directive on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov under "other OSHA documents." Copies are also available by calling 202-219-9266.
Some 73 million children hold jobs worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization, and that number accounts only for 10-14 year olds, not even younger children, or young female domestic workers. Most working children are employed in farming, facing hazards like harsh climates, sharp tools, heavy loads, toxic chemicals and farm machinery, the ILO says. Asian countries employ the most children, at 44.6 million. But Africa has the highest ratio of working 10-14-year olds: 26 percent.
Among the articles in the October 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we answer questions on dangerous dusts, discuss respiratory protection programs and the risks and benefits of smoke tubes, and learn how to get creative with training programs.