We’re coming up on an anniversary: in 1970 Congress passed and President Richard Nixon signed into the law the Occupational Safety and Health Act, creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA.
OSHA cited Graphic Packaging International LLC – an Atlanta, Georgia-based paper product manufacturer – for exposing employees to hot steam, and failing to ensure the use of proper hazardous energy control methods. The company faces $211,400 in proposed fines.
In OSHA’s 48-year-old history, the agency has experienced desperate hours on a regular schedule. The agency opened its door in 1971. Before the decade was out a “STOP OSHA” lobbying movement was underway. In 1979, Republican Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania proposed an “OSHA Improvements Act” which would have exempted from inspections all employers, large or small, regardless of industry, with good safety records. It was defeated in 1980.
In 2019, 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States1. It is statistically improbable for someone in America not to know someone close who had or has cancer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memo Thursday weakening workers’ protection against employer retaliation for reporting injuries and illnesses.
Section 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) of the Obama administrations 2016 “Electronic Recordkeeping Rule” told employers that “You must not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.”
If you could prevent 29 worker deaths and 5,842 lost-workday injuries each year1, would you? Those estimates were a major reason OSHA updated 1971’s General Industry CFR 1910 regulations for Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems at the end of 2016.
Falling objects are a common risk for injuries, even when dropped from only a few feet. Safety boots are important in many work environments, and depending upon the severity of the risk of foot injury, work boots with a metguard component should be part of an employee’s PPE.
In a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee today, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta today refused to commit not to rescind OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule. The rule, issued in 2016, requires employers to send injury and illness information into OSHA and prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries.
The Trump administration’s refusal to fulfill a provision of OSHA’s injury and illness tracking rule has resulted in a lawsuit by Public Citizen. The advocacy group filed the suit Friday in federal court against OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming that an exemption the agency cited in its denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request does not apply.
Certain respirators, known as tight-fitting respirators, must form a tight seal with your face or neck to work properly, according to OSHA. If your respirator doesn't fit your face properly, contaminated air can leak into your respirator facepiece, and you could breathe in hazardous substances.