Department of Labor announces enforcement guidance changes to save lives, target employers who put profit over safety

Original article published by OSHA

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new enforcement guidance to make its penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.

OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Office Directors now have the authority to cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations” for cases where the agency identifies “high-gravity” serious violations of OSHA standards specific to certain conditions where the language of the rule supports a citation for each instance of non-compliance. These conditions include lockout/tagout, machine guarding, permit-required confined space, respiratory protection, falls, trenching and for cases with other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping.

The change is intended to ensure OSHA personnel are applying the full authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act where increased citations are needed to discourage non-compliance. The new guidance covers enforcement activity in general industry, agriculture, maritime and construction industries, and becomes effective 60 days from Jan. 26, 2023. The current policy has been in place since 1990 and applies only to egregious willful citations.

In a second action, OSHA is reminding its Regional Administrators and Area Directors of their authority not to group violations, and instead cite them separately to more effectively encourage employers to comply with the intent of the OSH Act.

“Smart, impactful enforcement means using all the tools available to us when an employer ‘doesn’t get it’ and will respond to only additional deterrence in the form of increased citations and penalties,” explained Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “This is intended to be a targeted strategy for those employers who repeatedly choose to put profits before their employees’ safety, health and wellbeing. Employers who callously view injured or sickened workers simply as a cost of doing business will face more serious consequences.”

These changes in enforcement guidance are important enforcement tools to help deter employers from disregarding their responsibilities to protect workers and ensure compliance with OSHA standards and regulations.

Existing guidance on instance-by-instance citations are outlined in the OSHA Field Operations Manual, and CPL 02-00-080, “Handling of Cases to be Proposed for Violation-by-Violation Penalties.”


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US Department of Labor seeks nominations for membership to National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

Original article published by OSHA

Announces appointment of four other members

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking nominations to fill six membership vacancies on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.

The 12-member group advises the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters related to administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA invites nominations to fill the following vacancies: two public representatives; one management representative; one labor representative; one occupational safety professional representative; and one occupational health professional representative. Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of Labor and generally serve two-year staggered terms, unless a member becomes unable to serve, resigns, ceases to be qualified to serve, or is removed by the Secretary.

Submit nominations to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket Number OSHA-2022-0002 by Feb. 2, 2023. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details.

Additionally, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has approved the nominations of four other members, in response to a previous request for nominations published on Aug. 1, 2022. The appointed members are:

  • Nancy Daraiseh, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, public representative
  • Kathleen Dobson, Alberici Constructors, Inc., safety representative
  • John Dony, National Safety Council, management representative
  • Rebecca Reindel, AFL-CIO, labor representative

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA’s proposal on electronic injury and illness data submission moves to final rule stage in latest regulatory agenda

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Washington — OSHA’s regulation to change which workplaces are required to submit annual injury and illness data is at least one step closer to finalization, according to the Department of Labor’s tardy Fall 2022 regulatory agenda.

Published Jan. 4, the agenda – typically issued by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – provides the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. The Spring 2022 agenda was issued June 21.

Under OSHA’s current electronic injury and illness data submission rules, establishments with 250 or more employees and those with 20-plus employees in certain high-hazard industries must submit Form 300A – a yearly summary of injury and illnesses data.

The agency is proposing to require establishments with 100 or more employees in designated industries to submit Forms 300, 301 and 300A annually. Establishments in those same industries with 20 or more employees would need to submit only Form 300A under the proposal.

A final rule could appear as soon as March. OSHA’s forthcoming standard on COVID-19 in health care settings is among the agency’s other seven potential regulations listed in the final rule stage. That standard is under final review by OIRA.

Added to that list since June: Procedures for the Use of Administrative Subpoenas. An interim final rule could come as early as June.

“OSHA makes extensive use of subpoenas to gather evidence and interview witnesses during its investigations,” the agenda states. “This subpoena practice raises recurrent issues which lead to time-consuming disputes between the agency and employers. OSHA intends to adopt a regulation addressing the use of subpoenas during OSHA investigations to provide helpful clarity to the agency.

OSHA has one new proposed rule designed to “clarify” the process of designating a worker representative during an OSHA inspection or facility walkaround, “regardless of whether the representative is an employee of the employer, if in the judgment of the compliance safety and health officer such person is reasonably necessary to an effective and thorough physical inspection.”

A notice of proposed rulemaking could appear as soon as May.

Mine Safety and Health Administration

MSHA, meanwhile, has three new entries to the “semiannual” agenda, but all three are on the long-term actions list, meaning no work or updates are expected on these potential regulations for at least six months.

One concerns proposed safety requirements for mining around inactive or plugged oil or gas wells. Another seeks to change existing rules on radon exposure, and the third is on impoundment and dams.

“The general public would benefit from this rulemaking since failure of impoundments and dams is a significant hazard for the safety and health of miners and the surrounding communities,” MSHA says.

The agency’s planned retrospective look at its respirable coal mine dust rule and another regulation on non-permissible surveying equipment were moved from the active list to the long-term list.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA seeks nominees for advisory committee

Original article published by Safety+Health

Washington — OSHA is accepting nominations for its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.

The 12-member committee advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the secretaries of labor and health and human services on matters relating to occupational safety and health. All members are appointed by the labor secretary.

Because the terms for half of the committee members are set to expire in either June or July, OSHA is seeking nominations for:

  • Two public representatives
  • One management representative
  • One labor representative
  • One occupational safety professional representative
  • One occupational health professional representative

Nominations are due Feb. 2.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

OSHA, MSHA receive smaller-than-expected budget increases for FY 2023

Original article published by Safety+Health

Washington — OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration will receive modest budget increases for fiscal year 2023 – far less than the amounts initially proposed by Congress and the White House.

Under the FY 2023 federal appropriations bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 29, OSHA is set to receive around $632.3 million for FY 2023 (which ends Sept. 30). That’s an increase of about $20 million, or 3.3%, from FY 2022. The Senate proposed $679.8 million for the agency in its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, released in July.

The House announced in June that it had approved $712 million for OSHA. The Biden administration sought $701 million in its budget request, issued in March.

Federal enforcement and state programs will get the bulk of OSHA’s modest budget increase. Those line items are set to go up $7 million each, to $243 million and $120 million, respectively.

MSHA is getting a $4 million (1%) budget increase, to approximately $387.8 million, in FY 2023. The Senate proposed $409.6 million, the House budgeted $403.8 million and the administration sought $423.5 million for the agency. Enforcement will get nearly $1.3 million of that $4 million increase, to almost $265.8 million.

NIOSH is set to receive $362.8 million – an $11 million (3.1%) increase from FY 2022. That’s closer to the congressional bills (a proposed $367.3 million from the Senate and $363.3 million from the House). The administration requested a $6.5 million decrease in NIOSH’s budget, to $345.3 million.

The Chemical Safety Board has a budget of $14.4 million for FY 2023 (a 7.5% increase) – exactly what the Senate and House proposed in their initial bills. The administration requested $14 million for the agency, or a $600,000 increase from FY 2022.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Annual DOL OIG report points to challenges for OSHA and MSHA

Original article published by Safety+Health

           Photo: USDOL

Washington — OSHA “continues to be hampered” by the lack of a permanent standard on infectious diseases aimed at protecting workers in high-risk industries and needs to start working on a rule, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General says in its annual report for 2022.

Without a permanent standard on infectious diseases, “OSHA will not be in a position to effectively protect the safety and health of workers operating in high-risk industries during future pandemics or endemics” the report states. DOL OIG advises the agency to use the American Rescue Plan Act funding of at least $100 million for COVID-19-related activities, including enforcement at high-risk workplaces such as health care facilities and meat/poultry processing plants.

Other recommendations:

  • Complete initiatives to improve employer reporting of severe injuries and illnesses.
  • Enhance staff training on hazard abatement verification, especially of smaller and transient construction employers.
  • Look at ways to enhance interagency collaboration to “take advantage of inspections being conducted by OSHA’s counterparts in the federal government.”

For the Mine Safety and Health Administration, DOL OIG says the agency needs to direct its attention to any backlog of suspended or reduced enforcement stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. MSHA also should “improve internal controls related to its violation process” and give extra training to inspectors.

Additionally, MSHA needs to promulgate a standard for a lower respirable crystalline silica exposure limit, and increase silica sampling and enforcement at mines.

The agency also should “continue its existing efforts to decrease powered-haulage accidents by completing required inspections, enhancing training and increasing knowledge sharing about available technology.”


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

US Department of Labor seeking nominations for newly reestablished Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health

First published by OSHA

Advises Secretary on workplace safety for federal workers

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking nominations for membership for the newly reestablished Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health, which advises the Secretary of Labor on all matters relating to the occupational safety and health of federal employees.

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh reauthorized the council’s two-year charter on Oct. 1, 2021, to begin the process of reestablishing the 16-member council. Specifically, its members advise the Secretary on how to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses in the federal workforce, and how to encourage each federal Executive Branch department and agency to establish and maintain effective occupational safety and health programs.

The department is committed to equal opportunity in the workplace and seeks broad-based and diverse council members. By charter, eight members will represent management in federal departments and agencies, and eight members will represent federal employees. The Secretary appoints members for staggered terms of up to three years and may appoint some members to successive terms. The council meets at least twice a year.

Read the Federal Register notice for submission instructions. Submit nominations electronically, and refer to Docket No. OSHA-2021-0010 at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submit nominations by Nov. 1, 2021. OSHA anticipates filling all vacancies by December 2021.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

New DOT Drug Testing CCF Form Required

First published by DOT

The Revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form

must be used beginning August 30th, 2021[1]

Important Dates

We will conform to the dates HHS has instructed its certified laboratories to use as follows:

August 29, 2021 – Last date to use the ‘old CCF’.

August 30, 2021 – The date you must use the ‘revised CCF’.  If you use the ‘old CCF’, you must complete a Memorandum for the Record (MFR), otherwise the test will be canceled.

What happened?

On August 17, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF).  In addition, OMB authorized the use of the old form through August 29, 2021.  You can view the revised CCF here.

When using the ‘old CCF’ from September 1, 2020 through August 29, 2021, a MFR is not required.

Most of the changes adopted in the revised CCF were made to accommodate the use of oral fluid specimens for the Federal drug testing program.  Oral fluid drug testing is not authorized in DOT’s drug testing program.

What’s happening now?

As of August 30, 2021, DOT-regulated employers and their service agents [collectors, laboratories, Medical Review Officers] must use the ‘revised CCF’.

Where can an employer or a collector obtain the revised CCF?

Contact your Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-certified laboratory to obtain the revised CCF.  A list of HHS‑certified laboratories can be found here.

As an employer or collector, what should I be doing now?

As an employer or collector, monitor your existing supply of ‘old CCFs’ and coordinate the delivery of the ‘revised CCF’ with your HHS-certified laboratory.  Some laboratories may have already contacted you or provided you with information about the delivery of the ‘revised CCF’.

[1] This guidance does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2021


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