Never Contemplated Winches?


Between 2005 and 2015, for example, there were 76 deaths at private shipyards around the country. "This means that in the worst cases OSHA won't be able to take enforcement action, and the employers are going lifting equipment to be able to keep doing what they are doing because there are no consequences," said Peg Seminario, Safety and Health director at AFL-CIO, aa national trade union center and the largest federation of unions in the United States. "It essentially takes away OSHA's ability to enforcepatterns of record keeping violations, and what that means is that worse employersthat have a pattern of hiding injuries or falsifying records will escape punishment." While the repeal means OSHA is unable to legally pursue accidents and incidents that occur at a company over six months later, the agency is still able to view all data going back five years. That regulation has not changed. This means that OSHA can still identify industry-wide hazardous trends and make suggestions to individual companies on how to fix them. It just can't act against companies that have flouted rules more than six months ago. OSHA inspectors would need to identify an issue at a company within the six month time frame to be able to act on it. According to data collected by AFL-CIO, it would take Alabama's 24 OSHA inspectors roughly 114 years to visit every business in the state. "That makes it difficult to catch issues within the six month time frame and enforcementnearly impossible," added Seminario. Since taking power, Trump and Republicans have reversed more than 30 regulations using what's known as the Congressional Review Act, a powerful legislative tool that enables Congress to quickly overrule newly established federal rules. The act also prevents the reissuing of regulations, meaning OSHA may never be able to reinstate the five-year statute of limitations in the future. While the repeal is being widely viewed as a loss for workers, not everyone agrees that the Obama-era regulation was necessary. "This rule change isn't going to make safety worse and it isn't going to make it better, it's just making sure that OSHA isn't punishing companies for things they did years ago," said Jim Stanley, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA.

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