- The U.S. Labor Department officials say they’re enforcing safety regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but they stopped publicly identifying violators, the New York Times reports.
- Speculation is that the pro-business Trump administration ended the Obama administration’s practice of publicly announcing violators, fines and enforcement actions to end the practice of essentially shaming violators, the Times says.
- The Trump camp has signaled other impending changes to OSHA regulations. A lawsuit aims to roll back a new rule preventing companies from retaliating against workers for reporting safety hazards. House lawmakers led by Republicans voted down a rule that would have extended OSHA’s time frame for issuing record-keeping citations from six months to five years.
Federal government agencies might be enforcing regulations as usual, but Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration are making good on their promise to roll back many Obama-era mandates, either through the ballot or the courtroom.
Nevertheless, employers should continue abiding by regulations as they currently stand. Some regulations could be easily overturned, while others will require more time and effort to change. A few regulations could face strong opposition that might delay or derail change.
Employers only need to look at the number of citations that came down just last year to understand why continued compliance is necessary. NYT reports that Congress voted to double OSHA fines last year. The agency strongly pursued companies it deemed as repeat offenders. It also fined Ajin USA, an auto parts supplier, $2,5 million and collected $317,000 in penalties from Koch Foods, Hyundai, Kia and Tyson Foods.