Friday, August 29, 2014
OSHA Short Takes

Issa targets DOL spending; OSHA apparently steers clear of inquiry

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has set his sights on spending habits at the Labor Department as the latest in a string of investigations he has commenced into the Obama administration, but Issa's inquiry . . .

Michaels: OSHA ramps up foreign alliances

OSHA chief David Michaels is signaling that the agency plans to increase its alliances with foreign governments as it likewise extends its outreach into industry, academia and other entities. His comments come just after OSHA . . .

CA, fed OSHA, Mexican Consulates sign pact

A newly signed alliance among Cal/OSHA, federal OSHA and the Mexican Consulates in California will help educate Mexican workers on their labor rights – a move that comes as OSHA under the Obama administration ramps . . .

OSHA whistleblower claim highlights STAA enforcement

OSHA alleges that a Pontiac, MI, company violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) by wrongfully terminating a foreman and two truck drivers, widely publicizing the case and highlighting its increasing efforts to rigorously enforce . . .

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CSB Report On Acid Spill Underscores Push For Tougher Process Safety Oversight

A technical report from federal chemical safety investigators into February's Tesoro Refinery sulfuric acid spill that injured two workers in California concludes in part that many of the nation's chemical facilities need to beef up their process safety management (PSM) activities to avert such accidents, a recommendation aligned with their push for more federal regulation and OSHA oversight on the issue.

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OSHA, NIOSH Unveil Temp Worker 'Recommended Practices,' Hone In On Shared Burdens

OSHA and NIOSH have jointly issued a "recommended practices" document on temporary worker safety and health that strongly emphasizes what the agencies view as the shared responsibilities of host employers and staffing agencies for ensuring regulatory compliance -- echoing a previously stated OSHA position that legal sources say could bolster the enforcement agency's inclination to cite both employers after an inspection in such situations.

OSHA Seen As Emboldened On General-Duty Use As SeaWorld Declines To Appeal Case

OSHA is touting its recent successful exercise of the OSH Act general duty clause in the highly publicized action against SeaWorld after the mauling death of a killer whale trainer, after the company said in a statement to the investor community that it would not further attempt to appeal the citations in court.

Labor Board, In Controversial Move, Directs Officers To Make Safety Referrals To OSHA

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) -- which under the Obama administration has often stirred controversy for taking policy positions that many in the employer community and the GOP regard as strongly biased in favor of union activism -- has launched a new initiative that directs field agents as they review allegations of unfair labor practices to consider referring complainants' safety and health concerns to OSHA, arguing that relaying such complaints is in line with helping enforce a broad range of federal labor laws.

EPA Moves Ahead With Lead Paint Rule Activities, Partly In Bid To Protect Workers

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with plans to gather data on potential risks to workers and the public from lead paint during renovation and maintenance of public and commercial buildings (P&CBs) -- despite industry arguments that such action is unnecessary and duplicates OSHA rules -- and is asking the White House to approve an Information Collection Request (ICR) that could support a decision to regulate such activities.

NIOSH Pushes Work Injury Data Collection In Electronic Health Records

NIOSH wants community health centers to collect occupational injury and illness data in their electronic medical records so the agency can use that data for research, a NIOSH official tells Inside OSHA Online.

Building Contractors Poised To Sue Over Controversial Obama Order On DOL Citations

A major construction industry trade group is gearing up to sue the Obama administration over a contentious presidential executive order that constrains federal agencies from hiring contractors with Labor Department enforcement histories, including alleged OSHA violations, a top official with the group tells Inside OSHA Online. The organization, the source says, also is considering legislative remedies to overcome the order, which critics say is an example of executive overreach.

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Fed OSHA Releases New Cal/OSHA Report

Federal OSHA has released the latest comprehensive Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation report for the closely watched Cal/OSHA state plan, raising continued concerns about staffing and response times, with Cal/OSHA also filing a formal response.

NIOSH Emphasizes Proper Sleep For Drivers

NIOSH has issued a new publication, "Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers," which emphasizes the safety and health risks from lack of sleep which it says include: crashes or near misses; slower reactions, a cloudy . . .

OSHA Renews Pact With Cold Chain Alliance

OSHA has renewed its alliance with the Global Cold Chain Alliance to work together on protecting workers from exposure to hazardous chemical releases from ammonia refrigeration systems. The alliance will also focus on improving the . . .

Acting Surgeon General: Limit Worker Exposures To UV Radiation

Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak authored a blog for NIOSH on his Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, providing recommendations to employers and workers for limiting exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

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