OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels updated Congress on the agency’s enforcement activity late last week, noting that the Act has not been updated for 44 years and that penalties remain low compared to other federal efforts, like environmental protection. According to Holland & Hart’s Workplace Safety Report, Dr. Michaels discussed OSHA’s recent guidance revising OSHA’s interpretation of the exemption of retail facilities from coverage of the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM) standard (29 CFR 1910.119) and why OSHA has now determined that the exemption should no longer exist. Further, he testified that OSHA is greatly underfunded, with available resources to inspect each job site just once every 140 years. Moreover, Dr. Michael’s confirmed that the latest House Appropriations bill reduces OSHA’s budget by approximately seven percent from the previous year.
Read more and watch the testimony in full via Workplace Safety Report here.