Monday, April 21, 2014
OSHA Short Takes

OSHA publishes electric power rule, triggering July compliance date

OSHA Friday (April 11) issued a final rule aimed at improving the safety of workers in electric power generation, transmission and distribution work. The rule's formal publication in the Federal Register triggers an effective date . . .

CSB: Pipe corrosion led to 2009 Utah blast

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says a rupture in a pipe that had become "dangerously thin" from corrosion caused the November 2009 massive explosion and fire at the Silver Eagle Refinery in Woods Cross, . . .

Miller presses mine safety bill

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House labor committee, on Friday (April 4) urged panel Chairman John Kline (R-MN) to bring up sweeping mine safety legislation stalled at the committee level. There have . . .

Agency issues interim final whistleblower rule under consumer protection law

OSHA has issued an interim final rule to carry out the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act that was enacted in 2010 – the enforcement of which will add further administrative burden to . . .

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Top Story

Worker Activists Slam OSHA Response Under Bush To 9/11 Hazards, Call For Policy Changes

A group of worker health activists issued a scathing report Thursday (April 17) sharply critical in some respects of how OSHA under the Bush administration handled its response to worker hazards in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, calling for several policy changes to beef up enforcement and training in such a future event.

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OSHA Pushes Tighter Silica Standard Through Alliance With Worker Health Experts

OSHA is making the case for a much stricter standard on respirable crystalline silica by forming an alliance with several groups of occupational health experts in the Atlanta region -- a partnership designed to provide construction employers and workers with guidance and training to prevent overexposure to the toxic dust generated in some building activities.

OSHA Seeks White House Nod To Gather Stakeholder Data On Chemical Exposure Limits

OSHA is seeking clearance from the White House budget office to publish a formal information request designed to gather stakeholder input on the problematic issue of how to update a host of chemical exposure caps in the workplace, pushing ahead on a subject that has stymied worker health advocates for decades.

OSHA Prevails In Appeals Court Over Use Of General Duty Clause In Whale Mauling Case

OSHA won a closely monitored appellate court review of citations the agency issued in what critics blasted as an overzealous exercise of the OSH Act general duty clause following the much-publicized mauling death of a SeaWorld orca trainer in 2010.

Federal Investigators Set To Unveil Findings In TX Fertilizer Plant Explosion Probe

U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigators are set to release preliminary findings from their probe into last year's disastrous explosion of a fertilizer processing plant in West, TX, potentially teeing up recommendations to OSHA on how safety regulators could tighten up federal rules covering such facilities.

OSHA Push To Expand Whistleblower Staff Seen Helping Clear 11(c) Backlog

The Obama Administration's pressure on Congress to beef up OSHA's whistleblower law enforcement division could help the agency clear up a persistent backlog in cases including OSH Act 11(c) complaints.

Mine Safety Bill Declared 'Dead;' Activists' OSHA Reform Hopes Likely Dashed Again

GOP lawmakers Wednesday (April 9) quashed any lingering hopes of worker safety and health advocates that Congress could be willing to consider sweeping mine safety legislation pushed in the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch disaster in West Virginia, also spelling defeat for prospects that OSHA reforms could be tied to any such measure – the only recent legislative vehicle to show promise for OSH Act changes.

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NIEHS Updates Studies Of Potentially Toxic Agents

Results and status information for all National Toxicology Program (NTP) studies has been updated, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said Thursday (April 17). An NTP web page allows users to search for the testing . . .

ASSE Lodges Concern On IL Safety Consultant Liability

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) sent a letter to the Illinois Senate president expressing concern that a bill in the state legislature "would strip independent safety consultants of the protection from law suits . . .

Agency Plans Public Hearing On Crane Operator Certification

OSHA has scheduled an informal public hearing May 19 in Washington to discuss OSHA's proposed rule to extend the compliance date for its crane operator certification requirement and the existing phase-in requirement that employers ensure . . .

Perez Tells Congress OSHA Budget Plan Enhances Data Use

Labor Secretary Tom Perez told the House appropriations panel with DOL jurisdiction in prepared testimony Wednesday (April 2) that the president's proposed OSHA budget for fiscal 2015 gives OSHA additional resources to "centralize the agency's . . .

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