Despite overwhelming pressure from Congress, workers and public health experts, the previous administration refused to take any meaningful action to protect workers. — Rep. Robert C. 'Bobby' Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor
Despite overwhelming pressure from Congress, workers and public health experts, the previous administration refused to take any meaningful action to protect workers. — Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor
New report says failures at OSHA under Trump could have put more workers at risk during pandemic
A new federal report casts a harsh light on safety enforcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Donald Trump during the pandemic, concluding that the agency had risked not “providing the level of protection that workers need at various job sites.”

OSHA, which is charged with upholding the safety of workplaces across the country, received more safety complaints during the pandemic than the same period in 2019 yet performed significantly fewer inspections.

And its decision not to issue any rules about coronavirus safety that companies would have been required to follow also left workers unsafe, the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General concluded. The reduction in on-site inspections may have resulted in more accidents, illnesses and deaths, the report noted.


“We are concerned that since most OSHA inspections were done remotely during the pandemic, hazards may go unidentified and unabated longer, with employees being more vulnerable to hazardous risk exposure while working,” the inspector general wrote.

The United States has not studied the issue nationally, but workplace transmission has made for a significant portion of the infections across the country. Hundreds of thousands of essential workers in industries such as health care, groceries, warehouses and meatpacking have been infected with the virus, and tens of thousands have died.

... “The inspector general documented OSHA’s failure under President Trump to mount a strong effort to protect millions of front line workers doing essential work,” said David Michaels, who led OSHA during the Obama presidency and has been a critic of its lax enforcement during the pandemic. “Thousands of virus-exposed workers complained to OSHA, but the agency did little to help them. As a result, many workers were sickened or killed."

... “Despite overwhelming pressure from Congress, workers and public health experts, the previous administration refused to take any meaningful action to protect workers,” said Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Scott has been calling for the implementation of an emergency standard since last year. “Now, the inspector general’s report reveals the consequences of the Trump administration’s inaction."
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/03/02/osha-inspections-covid-oig-report/