OMB Watch Stands Up for Strong Safety Standards, Comments on Troubling Food Safety Rule

Tuesday, OMB Watch submitted comments on a new rule being considered by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that would dramatically change the poultry inspection process in this country. Our comments detailed the rule's potential consequences to food and worker safety: more tainted chicken making it to our families' dinner tables and more injuries on the job.

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Workplace Safety and Randomized Controlled Trials: Another Weapon of Delay?

A fundamental principle of modern workplace safety laws holds that if scientific evidence suggests the health and safety of the public is at risk, the federal government should step in and take action, even if no conclusive proof has yet been generated. The principle is that the government should adopt public protections based on the “best available evidence” rather than wait indefinitely for “proof” of a hazard while workers suffer harm.

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Why Is the Small Business Administration Arguing that Formaldehyde Doesn’t Cause Cancer?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is supposed to protect the interests of small businesses – businesses most Americans define as employing fewer than 100 workers. But a little-known office in the SBA, the Office of Advocacy, has recently weighed in with the National Toxicology Program (NTP), urging that it scrap a congressionally mandated Report on Carcinogens and challenging NTP’s designation of formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. The NTP report is not a regulatory document. It does not directly affect small business costs. So what is the Office of Advocacy at the SBA doing objecting to a scientific report on carcinogens?

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Worker-Killing Regulatory Delays

April 28 marked Workers’ Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor and remember workers who have been killed on the job. The majority of these deaths are the result of inadequate health and safety standards on the job or inadequate enforcement of the worker safety standards that do exist. It’s time for our elected and appointed officials to recognize that delaying workplace health and safety protections can have deadly consequences.

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Maybe It's Time for a Moratorium on Bad Ideas in the House of Representatives

Imagine for a moment that you're in the last few weeks of your current job.  Your final goal is to complete an important, long-term project that you've been working on for several years.  Finishing this project will be a major milestone and will benefit people both inside and outside your organization.  Suddenly, your employer makes a new policy: people aren't allowed to complete projects during their last few weeks with the organization.  You'd probably be confused, even furious, and rightfully so, because all of your hard work would have been for nothing.  A policy like that just wouldn't make sense, yet it's similar to what the House wants to do to those who have been working to develop and improve our nation's public protections. 

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On Workers' Memorial Day, Let's Remember that Regulatory Delay Can Be Deadly

 At long last, a committee on Capitol Hill held a hearing to showcase how important health and safety standards are in protecting the lives of all Americans. On April 19, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, convened the hearing to highlight the devastating impact of regulatory delay on the lives of workers and their families. Driving the point home, relatives of workers who died on the job packed the hearing room, holding pictures of their late loved ones for all to see.

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The Regulatory Freeze Act: Legislation to Make the World More Dangerous and the Economy Weaker

The so-called Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, reported out of the House Judiciary Committee earlier today, is the clearest example yet of just how broken the national debate on public protections has become. This bill is ostensibly about getting Americans back to work, but the bill contains no provisions to address unemployment. Instead, it would gut the system of public protections that underpins our entire economy.

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Worker Safety Rule Under Review at OIRA for Over a Year: A Tale of Rulemaking Delay

This year, Feb. 14 signified more than a Valentine’s Day celebration for worker safety advocates. Last Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the regulatory review of a proposed rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that would strengthen standards for protecting workers from crystalline silica, a known human carcinogen that is linked to fatalities and disabling illnesses such as silicosis.

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Safeguarding the Public's Health and Safety: The President's FY 2013 Public Protections Funding Requests

When public agencies are effective and responsive, the protections they afford to the American people are largely invisible. Americans have largely forgotten the “bad old days” before there were meat inspectors, toy inspectors, workplace safety standards, clean air and water standards, and laws against the release of toxic chemical waste. In a new analysis released Feb. 17, we examine the “public protections budget” – a diverse set of federal programs in agencies whose mission is to protect the health and welfare of the American public.

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Third-Party Audits Aren't a Panacea for Increasing Safety

The third-party audit system, in which private companies take over responsibility for inspecting worksites and production facilities, has been shown to expose Americans to significant health and safety risks while eating, working, and breathing.

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