There has been many changes with OSHA over the past few weeks.
It was just announced that OSHA will have a new leader; Dr. Davie Michaels who was confirmed by the US Senate earlier this week. Along with that the Obama Administration is asking for an increase in funding for OSHA and other Federal Agencies. The increased budget for OSHA would allow the agency to hire more workers who would then be able to go out and better enforce work safety in the business industry. This would mean more crack down on OSHA violations on industries greater enforcement on OSHA standards.
There is a debate between lawmakers on whether this is a wise decision. Some lawmakers feel that with the stricter enforcement of OSHA standards this will cause a burden on small businesses having to pay penalties if they are in violation of any OSHA standards.
Right now there is a bill before the House of Representatives (H.R. 2067) that states the following:
To amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to expand coverage under the Act, to increase protections for whistleblowers, to increase penalties for certain violators, and for other purposes.
If this bill is to pass it will allow the protection of those employers in the workforce who report safety violations to the proper authorities. Right now there are workers who are working in inadequate work environments which go unreported for fear of such a report may cause that person to loose their job.
In the United States, the state of Wyoming has the highest occupational death rate in the nation at 17.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers. This is more than 4 times the national average.
According to the US Dept. of Labor; In the United Sates every single day there are 16 work related fatalities.
The question needs to be asked, ‘What is the cost to protect employers on the job and provide adequate training to keep them safe’.
To learn more about H.R. 2067 click here