Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Biden Administration proposes limited increases in OSHA budget

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Apr 08, 2024

On March 11, the Biden Administration issued its budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 (October 1, 2024 through September 30, 2025). The administration proposes a $655.5 million budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a 3.7% ($32.1 million) increase above OSHA’s adopted 2023 budget of $632.4 million (the Administration had proposed $701 million). OSHA is presently operating under the latest FY 2024 Continuing Budget Resolution (since no budget has been adopted for FY 2024 (I wrote about the Administration’s FY 2024 proposal HERE). Even if an FY 2025 budget is enacted, political differences make significant reductions from this proposal likely, but it’s worth reviewing the proposal as a reflection of the Administration’s ongoing environmental priorities. The remainder of this note summarizes the Biden Administration proposal.

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Tags: Health & Safety, OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, Cal/OSHA, FTE, Joe Biden, USA

NIOSH offers Best Practice guidance for employers that host “temp” workers’

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Feb 28, 2023

Is your organization hiring "temp" workers —to hedge your labor costs while gearing back up after COVID-19 perhaps? If so, occupational safety and health agencies consider your employer to be the “host employer” of these workers, and provides requirements to protect them against occupational hazards. Last year I summarized the latest US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance (HERE). Last month, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued a new guidance, “Protecting Temporary Workers: Best Practices for Host Employers.” The remainder of this note summarized this NIOSH guidance, which is primarily organized into three sections.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, OSHA, Cal/OSHA

California issues guidance on protecting workers against workplace monkeypox

Posted by Jon Elliott on Fri, Oct 14, 2022

As public and occupational health agencies around the word continuously reevaluate their responses to the spread of monkeypox (also called MPX), California has issued the first regulation-oriented guidance I’ve seen. On September 13, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, but universally called Cal/OSHA) issued “Protecting Workers from Monkeypox (MPX) for Employers and workers Covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard (Title 8 section 5199).” Depending whether MPX comes to be considered an epidemic, this Cal/OSHA effort may be the first of many – I’ve written about public health and OSH agency responses to the COVID-19 epidemic many times since 2020 – or an outlier reflecting California’s aggressive approach to potential hazards. The remainder of this note discusses the new guidance, which is targeted at health and public service workplaces but has relevance for other employers as well.

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Tags: Health & Safety, CDC, Safety and Health at Work, Cal/OSHA, Monkeypox

California again considering requirements for workplace violence prevention

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Jun 27, 2022

On May 22, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH, but generally referred to as “Cal/OSHA”) issued its latest revised discussion draft of a regulatory standard mandating workplace violence prevention (WVP) steps for employers in “general industry” (potential 8 CCR 3343). This draft revives an effort that began in 2017, when the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) responded to a schoolteacher’s petition that the state enact a WVP standard for educational settings by agreeing to consider one for all settings not covered by its standard for WVP in healthcare settings (which I wrote about HERE). The remainder of this note discusses the latest draft.

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Tags: Health & Safety, Workplace violence, Cal/OSHA

California regulates Air Toxics “Hot Spots”

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Sep 15, 2020

In 1987, California adopted the Air Toxics “Hot Spots” Information and Assessment Act, responding to increasing concern over toxics in the air (AB 2588 (Connelly, Sterling)).  This law complements California’s enforcement of national requirements governing stationary source emissions of air toxics. The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish and maintain a list of air toxics, named as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), and to set emissions standards (National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for many HAP emission sources; California incorporates HAP/NESHAP requirements into the state’s Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC) / Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) program. (I discussed these requirements HERE).

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Tags: OSHA, CAA, Cal/OSHA, California, Air Toxics, NESHAPs, TAC, ATCM, Hot Spots Act, OEHHA, BAAQMD, HAPs, ARB

California’s new ag worker standard is useful for anyone working outside at night

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Jul 08, 2020

Beginning July 1, 2020, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (usually called “Cal/OSHA”) oversees requirements for workplace lighting to assist and protect employees who perform agricultural work outside at night. These include requirements for lighting to illuminate work activities and the workers themselves, including operation of front and rear lights on vehicles. Although these new requirements only apply directly if your organization employs agricultural workers in California, any other organization whose workers are active outside at night should compare its measures to these new standards.

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Tags: OSHA, Safety and Health at Work, workplace safety, Agriculture, Cal/OSHA, Ag workers