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Trump Administration Bottles Up Another Workplace Safety Rule

By in Huffington Post on May 17, 2017

By Dave Jamieson

Employers worried about records of job-related injuries and illnesses becoming public can rest easy for now, thanks to the Trump administration.

The Labor Department on Wednesday said it would hold off on enforcing a new rule requiring certain employers to submit the records to the government for posting online. Companies had been expected to start handing over the records by July, when portions of them would be available to the public.

But in what was listed as an “update” on its website, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would extend the deadlines for employers under the new rule. The agency also said it is not accepting the injury and illness records from employers at the moment.

A Labor Department spokeswoman said the agency had been fielding a lot of questions from employers about meeting the new requirements. The delay would give the agency time to “address their concerns,” she said.

But workplace safety advocates are concerned the requirements will be delayed indefinitely, as the Trump administration carries out a review of all current government rules for potential repeal. The safety advocates had hoped the public disclosures would shed light on dangerous employers and help OSHA target its limited resources where they’re most needed.

“This is about the administration siding with corporate lobbyists,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a workplace safety expert and former OSHA adviser now with the National Employment Law Project. “They’re not standing on the side of the nation’s workers and making sure they can come home with their health at end of day.”

Certain large employers in high-hazard industries for years have been required to keep logs of their workers’ injuries and illnesses, but the information isn’t public. OSHA goes through the records when they conduct workplace inspections, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics relies on […]    

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