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OSHA IN 2011

OSHA IN 2011

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OSHA IN 2011

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  1. OSHA IN 2011 Mark Banden Compliance Assistance Specialist OSHA, Kansas City Area Office

  2. Safety & Health Under Dr. Michaels: Where Are We? • Put a priority on enforcement as a driver of compliance! • The OSHA agenda is going to come back to ergonomics? • Emphasis on compliance assistance coming back? • Politics to affect the “science” of injury and illness reduction?

  3. Budget Deal for Rest of 2011 Spares OSHA,Avoids Cuts Sought by House Republicans • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's $558.6 million budget would be sustained at current levels for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year—less a 0.2 percent government-wide rescission—under a continuing resolution (H.R. 1473) informally worked out April 8 between House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House, and released April 12. • Floor debate on H.R. 1473 was scheduled to begin April 14. • OSHA's current budget has been in set in a series of short-term continuing resolutions at the fiscal 2010 level (39 OSHR 1062, 12/17/09). • The continued funding appears to mark a victory for worker advocates, considering that House Republicans on Feb. 11 had called for an 18 percent cut to OSHA's budget in a funding plan that failed to pass in the Senate (H.R. 1)

  4. OSHA Encourages Workers to Speak Up—and You to Listen • OSHA encourages employees to be active players in their workplace's safety and health effort. Specifically, OSHA encourages workers to join with employers in promoting safety on the job, and it provides protection for those who speak up. • 1. Right to Promote Safety • Working cooperatively to reduce hazards. • Right to refuse to perform unsafe work. • Recourse if the employer does not correct a hazard. • 2. Right to Protection from Retaliation • Right to confidentiality • Whistleblower protections

  5. OSHA Reform Legislation

  6. OSHA Reform Bills • Protecting America’s Workers Act (H.R. 2067) would extend Occupational Safety and Health Administration coverage to public sector workers In addition to covering public sector workers, • The Protecting America's Workers Act also seeks to • raise penalties for violators, • afford more protections for whistleblowers, and • extend new rights to victims of work accidents .

  7. OSHA Reform BillsNew Criminal Prosecution Provisions • Greatly Expanded “Legal Tests” for Criminal Prosecution • Under a “knowing” standard, the government must only prove that the defendant had knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense – i.e., that the conduct at issue was not accidental or a mistake. Willful act resulting in death versus Knowing act resulting in serious harm

  8. OSHA Reform Bill Could Move in Congress? • “Everything depended on health care, because it's in the same committees” as the worker safety bill, said Frank White, director of ORC Worldwide's health and safety practice, and a former deputy head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. • Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), chair of the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, who introduced the bill in the House, told BNA she expects Congress to begin considering the bill in 2010. • A companion version of the OSHA reform bill was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in August 2009 on behalf of Sen. Edward Kennedy, then chairman of the Senate labor committee. • Bill was later tied to the Mine Safety Bill which did not pass • Change in Congress may kill the Bill completely

  9. OSHA Reform Bills • Misclassification Bill • Woolsey also said she and Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) introduced a bill that seeks to prevent employers from misclassifying full-time workers as consultants or independent contractors as a way of evading their duties under the OSH Act. • Deputy Secretary of Labor, Seth Harris, testified before Congress the week of June 7, 2010

  10. Enforcement OSHA says “bah-humbug” to Salvation Army Santa

  11. Emphasis on Enforcement • In 2011 we can expect to see greater enforcement • On the enforcement side, you’ll notice • More OSHA inspectors??, • (KCAO is down to 14 vs 15 CSHOs) (hiring freeze in effect) • more inspections, • more citations and • higher penalties. • Changed penalty calculation procedure on 10/1/2010 • Average penalty per violation of $4000 vs $1000 • 4 Average violations per inspection • Yields average penalty per inspection of $16,000 • Incentive to contest citations? • It’s safe to say that businesses need to look at their safety programs carefully and make sure they are measuring up to the high standards being set by the Obama administration

  12. Opposition to the Penalty Calculation Change • On November 15, 2010, Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis expressing concerns over the direction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In particular, they detailed concerns about recent changes to OSHA’s administrative penalty policy and several proposed rulemakings which they believe will negatively impact small business.  Their overarching concerns relate to the administration’s lack of outreach to the small business community and convening small business review panels to fully understand the economic impact administrative changes might have on small firms. • Other issues addressed in the Senate letter are the proposed changes to the Onsite Consultation Program Agreement and eliminating funding for the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). 

  13. OSHA Cracking Down on Repeat Violators • Barab, the acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, said that OSHA is replacing its existing Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP), initiated in 2003 under the Bush administration, with a new program, provisionally named the Severe Violators Inspection Program (SVIP). • Barab told subcommittee members, “the new program will ensure that recalcitrant employers not meeting their obligations under the OSH Act are targeted for additional enforcement action.” • Barab also said that OSHA would work closely with the Justice Department to prosecute employers that repeatedly violated OSHA standards. • Dr Michaels stated that OSHA would also begin to work more closely with State and Local Prosecutors on issues related to workplace safety.

  14. What to Expect Under SVIP Program • SVIP will be a comprehensive revision of the existing EEP, focusing more on large companies and less on small businesses. • Some of the changes under the program include: • •   Mandatory follow-up inspections•   Inspections of other employer sites•   Additional enhanced settlement provisions •   More intensive examination of an employer’s history for systemic problems that would trigger additional mandatory inspections • Several administrative changes to the penalty calculation system, outlined in the agency's Field Operations Manual, are being made. These administrative enhancements will become effective in the next several months. The penalty changes will increase the overall dollar amount of all penalties • Average Penalty for Serious Violations to increase from $1000 to $4000 • Pilot in several offices in June and July with national implementation by August

  15. SVIP • High-Emphasis Hazards are targeted and include fall hazards and hazards identified from the following National Emphasis Programs (NEPs): • amputations, • combustible dust, • crystalline silica, • excavation/trenching, • lead, and • shipbreaking

  16. Commission Upholds Repeat CitationIn Unanimous Ruling ‘Piercing Corporate Veil' • Willful and repeat citations and penalties totaling $10,750 against a construction company in New Hampshire were upheld unanimously by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Nov. 18 in a case that resolved questions over the extent to which companies can change names and structure and still be considered the same employer for purposes of a citation (Secretary of Labor v. Sharon & Walter Construction Inc., OSHRC, No. 00-1402, 11/18/10). • In upholding the citations against Sharon & Walter Construction Inc., the commission concluded that repeat citations can apply, in appropriate cases, to employers that have altered their legal identities from that of a predecessor that had been cited previously. • The case, one of the oldest on the docket, was one of several the commission accepted for review between 2000 and 2004 that focused on what Commission Chairman Thomasina V. Rogers has called “piercing the veil”—determining to what extent separate corporate identities are entwined.

  17. Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standardsfor Fiscal 2010 (Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010) • 1926.451 – Scaffolding1926.501 – Fall Protection1910.1200 – Hazard Communication1910.134 – Respiratory Protection1926.1053 – Ladders1910.147 – Lockout/Tagout1910.305 – Electrical, Wiring Methods1910.178 – Powered Industrial Trucks1910.303 – Electrical, General Requirements1910.212 – Machine Guarding

  18. Employer Can Establish An Employee Misconduct/ Unpeventability Defense By Showing: • Existence of an effective safety program designed to prevent the violation. • Adequate safety instructions effectively communicated to employees. (Training) • Means to discovering violations of instructions. (Follow-up inspections) • Enforcement of safety rules. (Discipline) SET EXPECTATIONS HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE

  19. Without a good safety program, you could end up with your buttocks in a sling (In more than one way)!

  20. Getting Tough Examples • New York trainer arrested on charges of selling OSHA training certifications •  Another 3 million dollar case against BP • “Presumptive Willfulness” for trenching violations

  21. Getting Tough • Judge upholds citations issued to Missouri company by OSHA following investigation of fatal falls • OSHA has announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission recently ruled in favor of upholding citations issued to Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc. of Pevely, Mo., following an investigation into two separate worker deaths at the same worksite. • In its decision, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed a total of six serious and 12 willful violations, with an assessed penalty of $871,500. Of significance was the judge's affirmation of OSHA's egregious or violation-by-violation penalty policy, where eight willful violations were issued to the company accounting for each employee exposed to the same fall hazard.

  22. Two Missouri employers arrested for failing to correct life-threatening worker hazards • The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ordered the arrest of Brian Andre, former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork, and Regina Shaw, owner of Andre Stone & Mason Work Inc., the successor company to Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork, for repeatedly failing to comply with court sanctions enforcing OSHA citations. The two were taken into custody by authorities Dec. 28, 2010. The order for incarceration stems from Mr. Andre’s and Ms. Shaw's failure to comply with sanctions ordered by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, following the court's initial ruling of contempt against Andre and Shaw in January 2010. • OSHA issued numerous citations from June 2003 to Dec., 2010, to both the original company and its successor, for willful, repeat and serious violations related to fall hazards and scaffolding erection deficiencies, among other issues.

  23. Business Letters Cite OSHA Enforcement,Lockout/Tagout Rules as Drags on Job Growth • In letters to a House oversight panel, business groups have called attention to regulatory initiatives on worker safety enforcement, permissible exposure limits, and an updated penalty policy as more examples of overreaching by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. • The letters were sent in response to a request in January by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for lists of rules thought to curb job creation and economic growth (41 OSHR 30, 1/13/11). • Thomas Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, said in a letter that OSHA's “increased enforcement measures can be counterproductive to achieving optimal benefits.” • Cooperative efforts among industry, labor, and government are the most effective means of achieving safe workplaces, he said. • Further, “strict interpretation of rules that do not provide additional workplace safety and cost companies thousands of dollars in lost productivity unnecessarily reduces our manufacturers' global competitiveness,” according to the letter. • The Business Roundtable submitted a report, titled Toward Smarter Regulation, calling on federal agencies to base their regulatory priorities upon “realistic considerations of risk” and arguing that “public fears and political expediency—not scientific analysis—often dictate the priorities set by legislature and agencies.” • Regulators should also select rules that achieve their objectives in the least costly way and favor performance-based standards over “command-and-control” regulation, and agencies should be required to develop regulatory budgets that would limit the amount of regulatory costs they could impose on the economy each year, the Business Roundtable wrote.

  24. Quick Action by OSHA Inspector Prevents Possible Injury or Death • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Rick Burns was performing a worksite inspection on a trench being dug by Trimat Construction in Mercerville, Ohio, when he directed an employee to exit the trench believing collapse was imminent. • Within five minutes, it did and could have buried the worker under six to seven feet of soil. • "The actions of the compliance officer likely saved this worker's life," said David Wilson, assistant area director in the Columbus area office. • "Cave-ins are a leading cause of worker fatalities during excavations." • OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. • The employee was working in a trench at a depth greater than 10 feet without cave-in protection. OSHA is conducting an investigation.

  25. Workers were ordered out of the trench (left) just moments before a portion collapsed (right), avoiding possible injury or loss of life.

  26. OSHA At 40 • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1971. • Since then, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. • Fatality and injury rates have dropped markedly. • Although accurate statistics were not kept at the time, it is estimated that in 1970 around 14,000 workers were killed on the job. • That number fell to approximately 4,340 in 2009. • At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes over 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites. • Since the passage of the OSH Act, the rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 workers in 2009. • OSHA safety and health standards, including those for trenching, machine guarding, asbestos, benzene, lead, and bloodborne pathogens have prevented countless work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. • See the OSHA web for a 40 year historical timeline which highlights key milestones in occupational safety and health history since the creation of OSHA.

  27. 10-year-old had to pick out dad’s headstone, casket • Ronnie Lynn May, 44, was killed while working on a drilling rig in Midland County, TX. • May and a co-worker were moving pipe on a drilling rig when a portion of the pipe slipped, pinning the co-worker’s leg. • As May tried to rescue the worker, he was crushed by another piece of the rig. May was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other worker’s injuries weren’t life threatening. OSHA is investigating. • The San Antonio Express-News reports that May’s son, 10-year-old Seth, spent the day after his father’s death picking out a headstone, casket and funeral flowers. • May’s mother, Mamie May, told the newspaper that the father and son were great friends. The two spent time together riding four-wheelers, fishing and hunting. • “They did everything,” Mamie May said. “And today, Seth made all of his father’s funeral arrangements.”

  28. OSHA Inspector Faces Charges • WICHITA — An inspector with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is charged in Kansas with lying about performing inspections at work sites. • A three-count federal indictment made public Wednesday alleges Douglas W. McComb falsely indicated on OSHA reports that he had inspected two construction sites in Wichita and one in Olathe. • McComb was summoned to appear April 18 in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

  29. Standards and Regulations

  30. Congressional Republicans are promising to scrub the government for what they say are "job killing" regulations. One of their primary targets is OSHA • Republicans say OSHA enacts expensive rules without regard to their effect on business. They've proposed cutting its budget this year by 20 percent, a reduction the director says would be devastating to the agency's efforts to protect worker safety. • Now, Republicans in control of the House are trying to push the pendulum back. As part of their drive to cut about $61 billion from federal spending in the current fiscal year, they've targeted OSHA for a $99 million reduction. • "The Republicans have proposed a 20 percent cut and given [that] half a year's over, that really means a 40 percent cut," OSHA administrator David Michaels says. "It would really have a devastating effect on all of our activities." • Republicans argue that OSHA's stepped-up enforcement threatens jobs. • Michaels says. "We know that OSHA doesn't kill jobs. It stops jobs from killing workers. When employers embrace safety, they actually save money. We know that's true. They often don't believe it, but we show them. And we have consultants who provide that information for free." • While fighting off cuts to this year's budget, the Obama administration has proposed increasing spending on OSHA in the next fiscal year by a bit more than 4 percent.

  31. March 14, 2011 Michaels Defends Impact of OSHA Regs on Job Creation • In a statement to members of a congressional subcommittee, OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels addressed the issue of the impact of government regulation on job creation. “Despite concerns about the effect of regulation on American business, there is clear evidence that OSHA’s commonsense regulations have made working conditions in this country today far safer than 40 years ago when the agency was created, while at the same time protecting American jobs,” Michaels said.

  32. Cost of Accidents: On average, the indirect costs of accidents exceed the direct costs by a 4:1 ratio The Iceberg Effect

  33. $ A F E T Y P A Y S ! OSHA Advisor @ www.osha.gov • Estimated Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and Estimated Impact on a Company's Profitability • Report for Year: 1999 • Employer: XYZ Inc • Prepared by: I. B. Safe, Safety Coordinator, on January 28, 2000 • The injury or illness selected:Strain • Average Direct Cost: $5,945 • Average Indirect Cost: $7,134 • Estimated Total Cost: $13,079 • The net profit margin for this company is 4 % • The ADDITIONAL sales necessary • - to cover Indirect Costs are: $178,350 • - to cover Total Costs are: $326,975 • The injury or illness selected: Laceration • Average Direct Cost: $1,101 • Average Indirect Cost: $4,954 • Estimated Total Cost: $6,055 • The net profit margin for this company is 4% • The ADDITIONAL sales necessary • - to cover Indirect Costs are: $123,850 • - to cover Total Costs are: $151,375 $AFETY PAYS is a tool developed by OSHA to assist employers in assessing the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses on their profitability. It uses a company's profit margin, the AVERAGE costs of an injury or illness, and an indirect cost multiplier to project the amount of sales a company would need to generate in order to cover those costs. Since AVERAGES are used, the actual costs may be higher or lower. Costs used here do not reflect the pain and suffering of injuries and illnesses.

  34. President Obama called for a regulatory review, ordering federal agencies to drop regulations that "are just plain dumb." • The move was hotly debated with safety and health advocates warning that crucial government oversight will be diluted and conservatives complaining that the review won't go far enough and exempts health care reform and financial reform. • Critics who complain that regulations burden businesses and impede economic recovery point to a 2005 study by the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy that tallied regulatory costs at $1.75 trillion per year. • But the study failed to track the benefits of regulation, which tend to be hard to measure since they often are long-term improvements – • Last year, the Office of Management and Budget reported that over the last ten years, the benefits of major federal regulations (ranging from $128 billion to $616 billion) dwarfed the costs (ranging from $43 billion to $55 billion).

  35. Emphasis on New Regulations • The regulatory agenda recently outlined is very aggressive.

  36. OSHA's Winter 2010 Regulatory Priorities • "This agenda continues to build upon the Secretary Hilda Solis' regulatory strategy of plan, prevent, protect; and solidifies the Agency's commitment to strengthening the worker's voice in the workplace," he wrote. • OSHA's major projects to implement the Secretary's vision are:

  37. New S&H Management Standard? • Statement of Dr Michaels before Congress On 4/27/2010 • The Labor Department released its winter regulatory agenda which includes a new enforcement strategy – Plan/Prevent/Protect – an effort designed to expand and strengthen worker protections through a new OSHA standard that would require each employer to implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program tailored to the actual hazards in that employer’s workplace. • OSHA initiated rulemaking on this standard with stakeholder meetings, the first took place in June 2010 in New Jersey. 

  38. Injury and Illness Prevention Program (Find and Fix) (I2P2) • OSHA has substantial data on reductions in injuries and illnesses from employers who have implemented similar effective processes. • The Agency currently has voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (54 FR 3904-3916), published in 1989. • Twelve States have similar rules.

  39. Web Chat of 1/3/2011 • DURING THE CHAT, OSHA REVEALED THAT ITS HIGHEST REGULATORY PRIORITY IS THE INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM (I2P2) RULE. • OSHA NOTED THAT BECAUSE OF ITS LIMITED RESOURCES, IT CAN’T ISSUE STANDARDS FOR ALL HAZARDS. THEREFORE, IT HAS TRIED TO FOCUS ON REGULATORY ACTIVITIES SUCH AS THE I2P2 RULE THAT WILL HAVE THE GREATEST IMPACT. • Ergonomics????? • THE NEXT STEP FOR THE I2P2 RULE IS THE SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT FAIRNESS ACT (SBREFA) PROCESS, WHICH IS CURRENTLY SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 2011

  40. I2P2 • Key provisions of the program may include: • A requirement that employers systematically identify and remediate risks to workers for example, to review relevant safety and health information, develop procedures for  inspecting their workplaces for safety and health hazards and investigate accidents. • Methods to provide workers with opportunities to participate in the program,. • Provisions requiring that the program be made available to workers so they can understand it and help monitor its implementation • A requirement that employers implement the program so the program actually protects workers • Provisions to prevent employers from not covering workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors

  41. I2P2Assess The Hazard and Take Precautions Necessary…

  42. Lobbying battle on tap over proposed changes to workplace-safety rules • Business and labor are preparing to wage a lobbying battle over a new rule expected later this year that could have a profound effect on how health and safety are handled in the workplace.  • In a January speech before the watchdog group Public Citizen, OSHA head David Michaels said the rule “represents the most fundamental change in workplace culture since the passage of the OSHA Act” — the 1970 law that created the agency. • The agency has held at least five public meetings with stakeholders to get feedback on how to draft it. • President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget request asks Congress for $2.4 million to help develop I2P2, which is an increase since he did not seek any funding for the rule for fiscal 2011.

  43. Lobbying battle on tap over proposed changes to workplace-safety rules • Michaels told The Hill that his agency is working on the regulation because OSHA does not have the manpower to stop every workplace accident. • “It would take over 100 years for OSHA to visit every workplace under its jurisdiction,” Michaels said. “OSHA believes that workers will be better protected if each employer has a proactive plan to find and fix hazards in their workplaces so that workers don’t get hurt.” • Economic and feasibility analyses of the regulation were slated to be released in late 2010. But those reports were delayed to June in order “to gather more stakeholder input” and crunch more data, Michaels said. • OSHA’s focus on the rule has caught the attention of a number of business groups. Members of the Coalition for Workplace Safety, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, have grown concerned about the rule. • “This would be the most sweeping regulation that OSHA has ever put out,” said Marc Freedman, the Chamber’s executive director of labor law policy.  • Freedman believes the rule could require employers to identify all hazards in the workplace, even ones not already mitigated for by OSHA. • “There is one school of thought that they would not have to issue another regulation ever again,” Freedman said.

  44. More Aggressive OSHA and New Ergonomics Standard? • High Noon for Ergonomics? • In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said that, if elected, he would issue a new ergonomics standard. The Clinton administration’s ergonomic standard survived only a few months and was repealed by the Bush administration and a Republican Congress shortly after Clinton left office. • Last June, in a speech to the American Society of Safety Engineers, acting OSHA Administrator Jordan Barab characterized the ergonomics issue as a “political football” with “powerful players who don’t want to see it on the field.” He added, “Well, we’re going to pick up that football.”

  45. I2P2 Ergonomics Debate • Freedman of the Chamber believes OSHA wants to re-establish that ergonomics standard using the I2P2 rule. Since the ergonomics rule was rejected under the Congressional Review Act, the agency cannot reissue a regulation that would be similar to the voided standard. • “Not only is this similar to the ergo rule, this will be how this OSHA does ergonomics,” Freedman said. “This is their ergo rule in style and substance.” • Seminario of the AFL-CIO said the reference to the voided ergonomics standard is a scare tactic and has been used before, most recently, she said, with OSHA’s proposed regulation that would restore a column on employer injury and illness logs to record workers’ musculoskeletal disorders. The rule was temporarily withdrawn earlier this year. 

  46. Bill Requiring CongressTo Approve Major Rules Could Freeze OSHA and I2P2 • The Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, introduced in the House (H.R. 10) by Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and in the Senate (S. 299) by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would require congressional approval of any regulations deemed to be “economically significant,” meaning those whose cost to the economy is estimated at $100 million or more annually. Also included would be rules that would cause a major increase in costs or prices or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or U.S. competitiveness.. • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's injury and illness prevention program rule, under which employers would bear the burden of identifying and fixing safety hazards in their own workplaces, is one rule that could be affected if the REINS Act becomes law, although the regulation has not yet been proposed. • The bill has 127 co-sponsors in the House and 25 in the Senate.

  47. GOP Amendments to Small Business BillTake Aim at Regulatory Powers, Spending • A series of Republican amendments to a Senate small business bill could strip authority and funding from federal regulatory agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to labor advocates who object to the amendments. • One amendment, the United States Authorization and Sunset Commission Act of 2011 (S. Amdt. 186), submitted by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), would create a bipartisan eight-member commission, composed of members of the House and Senate, to review and possibly recommend the abolishment or consolidation of redundant or duplicative programs in the federal government. • Labor Advocates Criticize Amendment • According to Chasick, a commission like the one proposed by Cornyn “would diminish the important oversight and fact-finding roles of committee hearings and reports, and diminish the opportunity for input from agency staff, occupational safety and health experts, or victims' families.” • Moreover, “by concentrating this power in the hands of only eight members, it is highly unlikely that there will be anyone from the relevant committees on the commission, further de-legitimizing the process,” Chasick said. “It's bad enough that Congress, through the REINS Act, wants to politicize the rulemaking process by requiring a vote in both houses before a rule can take effect; concentrating this power in the hands of an eight-member commission would mean industry lobbyists could kill a rule in an afternoon.” • Similarly, Eric Frumin, safety and health director at the Change to Win labor federation, criticized the Cornyn amendment, telling BNA March 28 that if the new procedure were established, it would be even easier for corporate interests to manipulate the congressional process to weaken or eliminate critical public health and safety agencies like OSHA.

  48. ASSE Share Views, Support on OSHA’s I2P2 Standard Feb 8, 2011 2:59 PM, By Laura Walter • The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) sent a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., to reiterate its support for OSHA’s development of an injury and illness prevention program (I2P2) standard.

  49. Hazard Communication Standard - Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals • OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to informing workers about chemical hazards. The result is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA is revising its Hazard Communication Standard to make it consistent with the GHS. The new standard will include more specific requirements for hazard classification, as well as standardized label components which will provide consistent information and definitions for hazardous chemicals and a standard approach to conveying information on material safety data sheets. On September 30, 2009, OSHA published the proposal and participated in hearings in March 2010.

  50. Plenty of Substance in OSHA's Web Chat of 1/3/2011 • Look for a final rule revising the Hazard Communication standard in August 2011 • In particular, OSHA is focused on improving worker awareness of the health and safety risks posed by hazardous chemicals.