When AJ was acquiring small, family-run safety businesses in the early 70s, the new-fangled OSHA agency, run by a Reading, Pa., department store retailer who later would own a tour bus company, (think those credentials would fly today?) was conducting 80,000 inspections a year and scaring businesses into buying all sorts of PPE. Safety distributors and manufacturers never had it better. The manufacturing base in the U.S. was still strong, though just beginning to head overseas. Demand for hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, steel-toe shoes, respirators and “Buddy Holly” safety glasses would never be higher.
OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels at a conference earlier this week: “How can we tell Jeff Davis' wife Mary, and her five children, that the penalty for killing fish and crabs is many times higher than the penalty for killing her husband and their father?”
DC insiders say it looks less likely that OSHA penalties across the board will be increased and criminal prosecutions broadened as part of the much ballyhooed OSHA Reform Package. OSHA reform legislation has yet to be voted on in the House, where Dem majority could easily push it through.