Subscriber Login

Homepage

For the second time since first nominating him, the White House has again renominated former FedEx executive Scott Mugno to lead OSHA, though his prospects for Senate confirmation remain dim due to partisan differences over Labor Department and other Trump administration nominees.

Latest News

The Labor Department (DOL) is appealing an administrative law judge's (ALJ) decision voiding an OSHA citation against a security company for not requiring its armed guards to wear bulletproof vests, arguing in part that OSHA's 2014 policy expanding application of its personal protective equipment (PPE) standard to include bulletproof vests was applicable in this case.

Public interest groups are suing EPA over its failure to ban paint-stripping uses of methylene chloride after finding that it does not meet the Toxic Substances Control Act's (TSCA) risk standard, marking one of the first legal tests of the agency's responsibilities to regulate toxic substances under the law since Congress revised it in 2016.

Environmentalists fear a proposed EPA training program to limit commercial exposures to methylene chloride in paint strippers hints at a retreat from an Obama-era plan to prohibit the use outright, suggesting the agency will instead finalize a scaled-back ban that will allow some paint-stripping uses of the chemical despite potential risks to workers.

House Democrats are vying to win seats on the newly renamed Education and Labor Committee, likely delaying a decision on who will lead the workforce protection subcommittee, which oversees OSHA, given the departure of Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), who was previously the panel's ranking member but who is now leading the veterans committee.

Key House and Senate lawmakers are at odds over how to extend the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) chemical facility safety program, raising doubts that lawmakers will act before the program's authorization expires later this month.

Top Democrats are urging the Labor Department's Office of Inspector General (IG) to audit the department's process for crafting a controversial rule that eases child labor restrictions to allow teenagers working in healthcare to independently operate powered patient lifts, heightening an already contentious workplace safety dispute.

The House is poised to vote Jan. 8 on Democrats' legislation to reauthorize for two years the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) industrial facility security program which rejects GOP calls for changes to the program, though the effort faces uncertain prospects amid the ongoing government shutdown.

The Senate unanimously confirmed President Donald Trump's nominees to lead EPA's toxics and international offices in the final hours of the 115th Congress, but his nominee to lead OSHA and the EPA office overseeing facility safety and waste cleanups remain stalled.

EPA has denied a petition from health and other groups seeking to expand industry reporting of asbestos uses in the workplace, concluding the petitioners' proposal to drop exemptions from the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule aren't warranted because they would not provide new data and would not affect EPA's ongoing asbestos risk analysis.

Short Takes

Industry proponents of a permanent waiver from OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standards for agricultural retailers are lamenting Congress' decision to drop House language from the Farm Bill that would have codified the exemption.

OSHA has sent for White House review a draft final rule aimed at rolling back the Obama administration's 2016 rule that requires employers to report injury and illness data that has traditionally been kept on site, a measure that once finalized will likely draw concerns from employer, state and labor groups.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is in talks with Republicans on a deal that would allow for a vote on the Trump administration's long-stalled nominee to head OSHA, Scott Mugno, in exchange for restoring a Democrat to the National Labor Relations Board, according to media reports.

White House officials have completed review of an OSHA proposed rule seeking to revise an Obama-era final rule strengthening the agency's beryllium standards in accordance with a settlement with an industry group that calls for clarifying ancillary provisions of the rule's standard for general industry.