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Tag: OSHA

OSHA Ignoring Principle of “Equal Treatment” for its NRTL Recognition Program

OSHA Ignoring Principle of “Equal Treatment” for its NRTL Recognition Program

No one disputes that OSHA's Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Recognition Program for assuring the safety of electrical products used in the workplace performs remarkably well.  When compared to our largest trading partner, the NRTL program, which is based on premarket approval and follow-up factory surveillance, cost less, provides greater national coordination and results in a higher level of assurance than the European model which is based on unfunded post market surveillance, Read more [...]
Good for Worker Safety…What’s OSHA’s Excuse?

Good for Worker Safety…What’s OSHA’s Excuse?

In his comments on the recent publication of the final rule modernizing the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), Dr. David Michaels, head of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),  said that workers not only have a “right to know” the chemical hazards confronting them in the workplace, but with the changes to HCS, now have the ability to understand these hazards and how to address them.  If a worker’s “right to understand” hazards is Read more [...]
The Difference a Word Makes

The Difference a Word Makes

Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a notice in the Federal Register requesting feedback on its proposed interpretation of the word "feasible" with respect to noise exposure standards. After reading what OSHA has proposed, I can assure you that the change in interpretation is by no means insignificant. OSHA's General Industry and Construction Occupational Noise Exposure standards require employers to use "feasible administrative or engineering Read more [...]
OSHA & Third-Party Certification

OSHA & Third-Party Certification

Last week the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB) that stresses the importance of using electrical and other equipment certified by Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) in workplaces. Quoting from OSHA's "Quick Takes" for the month of May, "OSHA's new Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns that workers may be exposed to serious hazards such as electrocution, burns, fires and explosions Read more [...]
OSHA Isn’t Asleep

OSHA Isn’t Asleep

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), under the leadership of the new Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, is no longer a sleepy little agency.  In the past two weeks alone, OSHA has published notice of the following: establishment of enforcement policies and procedures for the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which "concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference Read more [...]
Laboring Away

Laboring Away

Between now and Election Day 2010 (195 days away), Congress and the Obama Administration have a full plate, including financial regulatory reform, climate change and energy, and other priorities. One area where we could see some action is on several labor issues. Here are few possibilities: While the legislative outlook for the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act" (HR 1409/S 560, aka "card check") remains unclear, there most likely will be attempts to implement aspects of the Read more [...]
Chemical Reactions

Chemical Reactions

This week the Obama Administration signaled its interest in chemicals management and hazards communication in two key ways. On Tuesday, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson delivered a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, in which she outlined the EPA’s “essential principles” for chemicals management, specifically stating goals for legislative reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) and enhancement of EPA’s existing chemicals management Read more [...]
Watch the Pots…They’ll Eventually Boil

Watch the Pots…They’ll Eventually Boil

With every new presidential administration comes a different set of priorities and issues, and Congress' legislative agenda reflects this fact.  However, while much of the media focus has been on the big ticket items--health care reform, climate change, regulation of the financial industry, and the economy, there are several other items that are simmering on the backburner.  At some point, the heat will get turned up and these issues will really start bubbling. Here is a sampling of Read more [...]