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Occupational Safety News Bulletin – 3/15

Occupational Safety news headlines for mid March, 2011:

OSHA states they support American jobs

OSHA LogoOSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels made a statement on Feb. 15 declaring that OSHA helps to support American jobs. Obama has requested that all government agencies reevaluate any proposed regulations to ensure that the regulations will not impact small business or job creation. Michaels said, “Despite concerns about the effect of regulation on American business, there is clear evidence that OSHA’s common sense 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. The truth is that OSHA standards don’t kill jobs. They stop jobs from killing workers. OSHA standards don’t just prevent worker injuries and illnesses. They also drive technological innovation, making industries more competitive.”

Visit OSHA’s Web site to read the complete statement.

2012 OSHA Budget discussed in web chat

On Feb 14th Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis held a live web chat to discuss the 2012 OSHA budget request. The web chat lasted 2 hours and both Hilda Solis as well as OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels were available to respond to questions about the budget. OSHA has requested $583 million in the 2012 budget. The increase in funding is to cover an additional 45 investigators for the agency’s Whistleblower Protection Program and $1 million for the On-site Consultation Program.

Click here to review the budget.

OSHA issues guidance on employer providing of personal protect equipment (PPE)

OSHA has issued a new directive providing enforcement and instructions to determine employer compliance with PPE providing rules and regulations. Employers are responsible to provide PPE to employees at no cost to the employee.

To review the guidelines for what PPE should be provided see the Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry.

OSHA publishes final rule for handling complaints and whistleblowing

OSHA has published a final rule explaining the rules and regulations for handling complaints and whistleblowers for nuclear and environmental safety. The regulations include allowing complaints to be written or oral and communicated in other languages.

“Silenced workers are not safe workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Changes in the whistleblower provisions make good on the promise to stand by those workers who have the courage to come forward when they believe their employer is violating an environmental or nuclear safety law.”

For more information, visit the OSHA website.

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