What a difference a few months can make, as can be seen with changes at OSHA. A review of recent issues of OSHA’s “Quick Takes” newsletter highlighting important agency news paints a different picture of OSHA than newsletters from last fall.
Then, the publication was full of news about companies being cited and fined. The new penalties had kicked in and the fines were reaching record levels. The story OSHA wanted to tell about itself was enforcement, enforcement, enforcement. Contrast that with the current “Quick Takes.” Much of the news there is about training and cooperative efforts with employers.
Eight years ago, the new leaders of OSHA announced there was a “new sheriff in town.” The agency quickly became known as the “New OSHA,” with a significantly increased emphasis on enforcement. If the tone of “Quick Takes” is any indication, perhaps what we are witnessing is an agency re-branding itself as the “New, New OSHA.”
To give you a flavor of the change, we took two sample issues of “Quick Takes,” one from Sept. 1, 2016, and the other from February 15, 2017. You can compare the headlines yourself.
- Labor Rights Week events take place across the country
- Reports of amputations lead to improved workplace safety through employer settlements
- Major meatpacker faces $263K in fines after report of amputation also exposes chemical, fall and fire hazards at a Texas plant
- Illinois contractor fined $267K after continuing to expose workers to fall hazards
- USPS faces $111K in fines after OSHA inspection again finds hazards at Maryland facility
- Homebuilder, Florida contractor fined $107K for exposing workers to dangerous falls, other hazards
- OSHA wants to hear from the public on draft Process Safety Management guidance documents
- OSHA urges Louisiana flood recovery workers, volunteers to be vigilant, aware of hazards during cleanup
- Record number of Michigan employers “Take a Stand” for workplace safety and health
- OSHA pilots expedited whistleblower review process
- OSHA schedules FACOSH meeting on Sept. 8
- NACOSH schedules final meeting of the Emergency Response and Preparedness subcommittee
- 3M recalls fall prevention device over safety concerns
- New resource highlights hazards of logging industry skyline-skidding operations
- Ladder safety is focus of national outreach campaign
- Employers reminded to post injury and illness summaries through April; electronic filing not required until July
- Parsons re-approved for VPP Corporate Program
- OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program helps Utah manufacturer reduce workplace injuries and illnesses
- Free hazard communication webinar to be offered by American Staffing Association Feb. 28
- Safety event highlights importance of protecting workers from grain engulfment
- Kansas City OSHA office holds safety training following worker death in trench collapse
- OSHA’s alliance partners help build relationships that better protect worker safety and health
- Virginia OSHA reaches comprehensive settlement with tire company
- Court of Appeals orders roofer to pay outstanding penalties
The evolution of OSHA is, of course, not just driven by the agency. Congress recently rolled back a regulation created by OSHA in the last months of the previous administration that would have made employers liable for record-keeping errors for five years after an injury or illness occurs. The time limit now remains as it was at six months.
Congress also rolled back another regulation that would have required companies bidding for federal contracts to disclose violations of health and safety laws, and other labor laws.
There is a New, New OSHA in town.
Jim Stanley, President of FDRsafety, is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, the highest-rank “career” position in the agency. Contact him at 1-888-755-8010 or jstanley at fdrsafety.com.
Engage leaders, employees, members in improved safety performance with expert speakers from FDRsafety
Are you looking to more fully engage your leadership team, your employees or your organization’s membership with workplace safety? Two nationally recognized speakers from FDRsafety can help.
Fred Rine, CEO of FDRsafety and former Managing Director of Safety for FedEx, has inspired audiences at companies across the country to change their attitudes towards safety as a critical ingredient in improving safety performance. Fred’s presentation:
“Why to be Safe vs. How to be Safe”
Most employees know how to be safe – they have on-the-job experience and formal training. But at critical moments they may make the wrong choices for reasons of comfort or convenience. The key to better performance is helping them understand “why to be safe” – so they can return home (safe and sound) every day to the family and friends who depend on them. Fred’s highly interactive presentation is extremely motivating, with most participants saying it changed their attitudes towards safety, and their behaviors.
Jim Stanley, President of FDRsafety, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, and retired Vice President of Safety for AK Steel, is a nationally recognized expert on OSHA and on creating world-class safety programs. His presentation:
“Create a World-Class Safety Program, Protect Your Employees from Injury and Illness, and Survive a Changing and Inconsistent OSHA”
The four elements of an world-class/effective safety program are:
- Total, unwavering commitment from senior management regarding occupational safety and health issues in the workplace
- Creating an site-specific occupational safety and health program by mid-management (foremen, superintendents, directors)
- Employee involvement in the implementation of the program at the workplace
- Management and employee accountability
Jim uses powerful real-life example to takes audiences step-by-step through the process of creating, building and implementing a world-class program, as well as providing insider knowledge on dealing with OSHA at the national, state and local levels.
For more information about having Fred or Jim speak to your group, contact FDRsafety at 1-888-755-8010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.