OSHA responds to Inspector General’s findings
- Fed-OSHA disagrees with many of the conclusions of an audit commissioned by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.
- The audit, conducted by The Lopez Group, called on OSHA to update its Field Operations Manual so the agency can better address complaints and referrals.
- Lopez determined that OSHA “didn’t ensure complaints and referrals were adequately addressed nor regularly enforce hazard abatement timelines.
- Fed-OSHA chief Doug Parker commented that the main limitation of the audit “is stated in the audit itself.”
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OSHA could get more funds
- The White House is asking for a 17% funding increase for OSHA under the Department of Labor’s fiscal year 2024 budget request.
- The Biden administration is requesting approximately $738.7 million for the agency, an increase of more than $106.3 million from FY 2023.
- The proposal includes increases of 16.3% for federal enforcement (up roughly $40 million), 30% for federal compliance assistance ($23.3 million), and 26.3% for safety and health standards ($11.1 million).
- The administration wants to add 432 full-time equivalent employees, including 250 workers to rebuild and strengthen OSHA’s enforcement program.
Construction firm fined $105,800
- Oregon OSHA cited ]JMJ Construction LLC $105,800 for violating job safety rules, including repeatedly failing to protect workers from fall hazards that could seriously injure or kill them.
- The citation against the company resulted from an inspection conducted under Oregon OSHA’s emphasis program on fall hazards in construction.
- The prevention-based program includes directions to inspectors to act based on observations while in the field.
- The inspection of JMJ Construction focused on a Hillsboro job site where roofing work was being done on a commercial building.
Family of killed worker disappointed by government inaction
- The family of Eric Engle, who was found dead inside the Dworshak Dam in Idaho, is disappointed in the lack of action by government agencies following his death.
- An autopsy and toxicology report revealed 54-year-old man’s death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from the inhalation of exhaust fumes.
- Engle was an employee with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and had been operating a gas-powered pressure washer in a small access leading to the diversion tunnel.
- A family statement points out the tunnel did not meet all of OSHA’s criteria to be defined as a confined space.