Researchers at OMB Watch have released their take on the first 20 months of rulemaking under the Obama administration, including a status check on OSHA.
Even though President Obama took office in January 2009, his permanent OSHA administrator, David Michaels, wasn’t confirmed until Dec. 3, 2009.
OMB Watch says that, combined with external events such as the Gulf oil disaster, OSHA rulemaking under the new administration is off to a slow start.
Only two new OSHA regulations have been approved so far: one for slips, trips and falls, and another dealing with cranes and derricks.
Michaels has made some significant proposals:
- A new column is set to be added to employers’ injury logs in January 2011 that would require companies to determine whether an injury was due to a musculo-skeletal disorder or, in other words, was ergonomic in nature.
- Michaels wants to require companies to create their own injury and illness prevention programs, but there’s no formal proposal for this program, yet.
Budget is bigger
In the previous decade, OSHA’s rulemaking division had a budget of $16-17 million dollars a year. In 2010, that was increased by $2 million a year, and the proposed 2011 budget would give OSHA another $4 million for rule creation.
However, OMB Watch’s assessment of the first 20 months of Obama’s OSHA is that new rulemaking has been stymied by the late appointment of Michaels and a major disaster that took the focus off of rulemaking.
It should be noted that OMB Watch’s report doesn’t address stepped-up enforcement by OSHA under Michaels.
Do you think Obama’s OSHA is off to a slow start when it comes to new and updated workplace safety regulations? Let us know in the Comments Box below.