Enforcement and Inspection

Safety & Health Under Obama: What to Expect?

Washington, D.C., is full of new faces and new initiatives. What are the implications for occupational safety and health of all these changes? Who stands to gain and whose agenda will be shoved to the back burner for the next 3½ years?

There is no shortage of opinion about what the Obama administration will ultimately mean for job safety and health. The naming of Hilda Solis as secretary of labor and the nomination of Dr. David Michaels to head OSHA already signal a very different approach to workplace safety standard setting and enforcement. Both Michaels and Solis have been vocal critics of Bush-era policies.

Most important for employers is what these changes will mean on a daily basis. How will changes in legislation and enforcement affect business and the bottom line? Will employer actions or inactions be in OSHA’s crosshairs more than in the past? What will protection and compliance cost, and who will foot the bill?

Nearly 20 years! That’s how long safety professionals like you have depended on BLR’s twice-monthly OSHA Compliance Advisor newsletter for compliance and good practices news and ideas. Find out why with two issues completely on us. Get the details.

The Business Perspective

When asked to anticipate how the pursuit of worker safety and health will change under President Obama, Marc Freedman, director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says: “Our sense is that the OSHA agenda is going to come back to ergonomics.” He is, of course, referring to the Clinton-era federal ergonomics standard scuttled by ex-President Bush and the Congress. Freedman says that ergonomics is the single issue with the broadest impact on the employer community.

Freedman also believes that the new administration will “put a priority on enforcement as a driver of compliance.” What is less clear is whether the Bush administration emphasis on compliance assistance will remain in place. “We think it clearly has paid dividends and is an appropriate and necessary strategy,” Freedman asserts. And that’s especially important, he believes, in light of the agency’s need to leverage limited resources to achieve maximum compliance. “But,” says Freedman, “we’re not sure the new administration will see that the same way.”

What’s Your Next Move?

With the prospect of significant changes in OSHA personnel, initiatives, and enforcement practices, your next move is to stay on top of the latest developments so that you can keep your organization abreast of changes that affect your workplace—and adjust your compliance strategy to meet these new challenges.

And that’s where BLR’s OSHA Compliance Advisor comes into play. Safety professionals have depended on this twice-monthly newsletter for nearly 2 decades, taking advantage of such features as:

The latest OSHA and NIOSH news, court rulings, and proposed rules

Compliance Report, with case studies of how promising ideas have been put to work

Trainer’s Corner, providing practical, actionable tips to clue your workers in on safety

Try BLR’s renowned OSHA Compliance Advisor newsletter at no cost for a full month, and only then decide. It’s news you can use, and no way to lose!  Get more information.

Washington Watch, offering an advance look at what’s coming down the compliance pike so that you can be ready when it comes

From the States summary, presenting little-publicized state regs that often trump the federal

SafetyWorks monthly, reproducible handouts for employees, ready to copy and distribute

EHS & Your Business insert—a brand-new quarterly insert that provides a ready-to-use “selling package” to bring senior management on board with your safety plans, using language they can relate to

You can see many of these features with this Product Sample, and also view a full year’s worth of subject coverage with the Subject Index.

Even better, you can experience all these benefits of the OSHA Compliance Advisor at no cost or risk for a full month before deciding if you’d like to subscribe. Let us know, and we’ll be happy to arrange it. 


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2 thoughts on “Safety & Health Under Obama: What to Expect?”

  1. Yesterday, we reviewed a selection of forklift questions that were answered by the safety experts at Safty.BLR.com®. Today, we continue with more forklift questions and answers, and we’ll take a closer look at a powerful forklift safety training

  2. Whether David Michaels is the right person to head OSHA was a hotly debated topic in recent months. With his confirmation, we take a look at his credentials and what people are saying—pro and con—about the new OSHA chief.

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