Under the administration of President George W. Bush, OSHA has become even less of a safety watchdog. President Bush’s appointees at OSHA have turned the agency into a largely voluntary-oriented program. The administration’s anti-regulatory philosophy has translated into a smaller staff at OSHA to develop new standards, less reliance on the views of organized labor and an enlarged role for businesses.
grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis to provide training and education programs for employers and employees.
With the exception of only a few industries, such as mining, plus public employees, almost all job sectors and industries are covered by OSHA regulations, giving the agency one of the largest audiences of stakeholders within the federal government. There are more than 10 million businesses in the US, and most of them must comply with OSHA health and safety standards. From fast food cashiers to industrial engineers at chemical plants, OSHA’s work potentially affects more than 100 million Americans.
(by James Nash, Occupational Hazards)
The deaths of eleven workers in the explosion of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil platform Deepwater Horizon, has highlighted the importance of worker safety on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for protecting the safety and health of American workers, has been headed since December 9, 2009, by a public health expert, Dr. David Michaels, PhD, who has devoted his career to issues of public and occupational health. Michaels has already testified before Congress about OSHA’s role in protecting the more than 33,000 people who are working on the massive effort to clean up the toxic oil spill.
Organized labor was nothing short of giddy when President Barack Obama decided to make Jordan Barab the temporary head, and permanent No. 2 official, at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Having spent his entire professional career dealing with workplace safety issues, Barab knows OSHA like the back of his hand, warts and all. The former labor union specialist worked at OSHA during the last years of the Clinton administration, and while George W. Bush was in the White House, Barab used his blog to publicly blast Republican efforts to weaken job safety regulations.