User login

Homepage

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is urging federal regulators to improve safety on offshore oil and gas drilling rigs by collecting and publicly sharing facility data on incidents that suggest accident risk, echoing advocates' calls to improve safety through greater disclosure.

Latest News

Despite a threatened veto from the White House, the Senate appears slated to join the House in adopting legislation that would gut OSHA's plan for implementing President Obama's directive that the agency consider government contractors' records of workplace violations in granting contracts.

Industry groups are laying out a multi-part strategy aimed at stymieing -- and eventually rewriting -- OSHA's recently finalized electronic recordkeeping and reporting rule, signaling the measure will face significant opposition in Congress and the courts as the Obama administration prepares to leave office in the coming months.

EPA is defending its process for overhauling its risk management plan (RMP) facility safety program, rejecting Republican lawmakers' requests to extend the public comment period and downplaying claims that the policy will impose unfunded mandates on emergency responders.

House lawmakers appear poised to vote by wide margins May 24 to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in 40 years, after lawmakers made late changes to the legislation that won support from top Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

OSHA is planning to advance several dozen rules and proposed rules in the coming year, ranging from measures to protect workers from slips, trips and falls, industrial facility accidents and exposure to numerous toxic chemicals, according to a federal rulemaking docket.

A top OSHA official is pushing back against industry plans to delay implementation of the agency's new rule limiting silica exposures in workplaces, calling recent industry appeals court challenges to the rule an “expected” consequence of any major OSHA rule, and saying the lawsuits are unlikely to stall OSHA's implementation of the new standards.

Democratic Senate supporters of a compromise bill to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are discussing potential further changes ahead of floor votes on the legislation to win over Democratic lawmakers that currently oppose the measure, including tweaks to provisions on when states' chemicals programs would be preempted.

OSHA's recent deal that ended petrochemical industry litigation over its controversial enforcement policy that requires companies to use defined “engineering practices” to comply with the agency's process safety management (PSM) standards may aid ongoing talks aimed at resolving a similar dispute over OSHA's policy for determining when company's concentrations of certain chemicals in mixtures subject them to PSM requirements, an industry lawyer says.

House lawmakers supporting the just-announced Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill say they have enough bipartisan backing to advance the bill to President Obama for his signature without having to make changes to appease some House Democrats who now oppose it and claim it is weaker than current law.

Short Takes

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) says that the 2013 explosion at a West, TX, fertilizer facility that killed 15 people and spurred administration efforts to overhaul EPA's facility safety risk management program (RMP) and OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard was the result of arson, and not an accident as previously believed.

A two-year study by a watchdog organization has found that hazardous electronic waste (e-waste), such as computer monitors, televisions and printers, continues to be exported overseas, creating workplace safety risks for foreign workers and violating importing countries' laws, despite promises that the items would be recycled within the United States.

Senators working to craft a long-sought compromise on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislation announced May 6 that they have reached an unspecified compromise on “key sticking points” that were holding up agreement, and are planning on working with House lawmakers to finalize the deal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has formally consolidated the multiple legal challenges to OSHA's silica rule into a single docket, clearing the way for the litigation to begin, though the court, for now, delayed setting a briefing schedule on the merits.