Coming Soon: OSHA Vs. New House Majority on Enforcement

December 13, 2010 0 COMMENTS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) agenda to increase enforcement, which includes items such as ergonomics, noise standards, and an injury and illness prevention program, seems destined to run into resistance from the new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It’s fairly clear that changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) proposed last year are done for. In their place, OSHA seems likely to move towards implementing its agenda through regulation, enforcement policy, and reinterpretation of existing standards, among other techniques.

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OSHA’s Enforcement Push: 27 Separate Cases with $100,000-plus Fines

October 06, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Jim Stanley, President, FDRsafety

Big fines make big news as was evident when OSHA recently proposed $16.6 million in penalties in a deadly explosion at a Kleen Energy Systems construction site in Connecticut. But day-in, day-out announcements of OSHA fines may be just as significant because they illustrate the depth of the agency’s enforcement push.

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OSHA Administrator, Employers Group Spar Over Proposed Changes to OSH Act

July 14, 2010 1 COMMENTS

A proposal to increase Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) penalties now being considered by Congress will not result in any actual improvements in workplace safety and health, a representative of a coalition of employer groups testified on Tuesday, July 13, before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor.

Jonathan Snare was speaking for the Coalition of Workplace Safety, which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He was testifying before the House Education and Labor Committee, which is likely to vote soon on a bill containing the proposals. The bill, which also makes changes to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, could go to the House floor by the end of July.

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Hearing on ‘Radical’ OSHA Change Set for July

July 07, 2010 0 COMMENTS

“Prison terms of up to 10 years could be imposed on officers and directors of companies that knowingly violate OSHA rules under a proposed revision to the Occupational Safety and Health Act now advancing through Congress,” reported Jim Stanley, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, on his Workplace Safety blog.

He said that the 10-year term would apply in situations where a violation contributed to the death of an employee. The current maximum sentence under the OSHA act is six months and the law does not specify that officers and directors can be held criminally responsible.

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