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OSHA Enforcement and Regulatory Update: What Employers Need to Know

Everyone expected OSHA enforcement to be down in the first few years of the Trump administration, that regulatory activity would screech to a halt, and that the budget would be realigned. However, what really happened is that OSHA enforcement is, if anything, up; regulatory actions have continued; and the Agency budget increased $5 million in 2019 over FY2018.

OSHA’s New Guidance on Safety Incentive Programs

In late 2018, OSHA released guidance which provided regulatory clarification on the antiretaliation provisions in its electronic recordkeeping rule. In that guidance, OSHA states that it does not prohibit workplace safety incentive programs, and emphasizes that such programs can promote workplace safety and health and only violate OSHA regulations when they are used to penalize employees for reporting a work-related injury or illness.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health in the Workforce

Substance abuse, legal or otherwise, has a direct affect on the mental health of employees. Without proper supports, employees challenged with dependency become disengaged, less productive, and in some cases, a workplace hazard.

Workplace Bullying: Costs and Solutions

While workplace harassment and workplace violence continue to garner public attention, other types of abusive workplace behavior have remained largely in the shadows. Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) indicates that nearly 20% of U.S. workers have experienced workplace bullying, almost the same percentage of Americans who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace. Organizations (not to mention legislators and regulators) have been trying for years to address workplace misconduct that targets vulnerable employees, and yet the problem persists. Clearly, previous methods haven’t been very effective. It’s time organizations take a more comprehensive approach by fostering a positive workplace culture and taking appropriate action when needed.