Easing of Regulatory Rules Could Impact Worker Safety

March 16, 2017

The New York Times's article Worker Safety Rules Are Among Those Under Fire in Trump Era asks a good question - Since President Trump silenced federal agencies shortly after his inauguration, OSHA hasn't posted a single new release about a workplace safety violations and enforcement fine. Does it matter?

It should. Because unless a construction accident becomes a high-visibility event that grabs the general media's attention, if a corrupt or shoddy business gets caught and penalized for exposing it workers to danger and death, the public won't know about it.

“The reason you do news releases is to influence other employers” to clean up their acts, said David Michaels, who was an administrator of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency within the Labor Department that oversees workplace safety, during much of the Obama administration.

OSHA has several other regulations and standards that previously were made available in news release formats when violations occurred, such as the so-called blacklisting regulation and record keeping processes. Some trade associations prefer silence but labor unions fear without the threat of public exposure, companies will attach far less weight to OSHA's sanctions.

Can fewer regulations co-exist with worker safety>? Read the Times' article here: