OSHA Enforcement Numbers Remain Steady under Trump

- After six months under the leadership of the Trump Whitehouse, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is on pace to have the number of inspections performed in 2017 match the number performed under the last year of the Obama administration.

Currently, Trump’s OSHA has performed just over 17,500 inspections, which means the agency is projected to end with a total just below the 35,352 inspections performed in 2016. After interviewing attorneys involved with OSHA enforcement cases, Bloomberg BNA noted that while Trump has indeed made some measures towards halting new regulations, in terms of enforcement, things remain very similar.

“I’ve seen very little change,” Eric Hobbs, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins PC in Milwaukee told Bloomberg BNA. “It’s business as usual.”

OSHA has even added 21 employers to the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, an initiative that has received some criticism and that many expected the Trump Administration to end or alter. In part, these changes have not occurred because, as of July 28, Trump had not yet been able to appoint OSHA leadership.

The agency has stated that, in general, they will avoid policy changes until an OSHA administration appointed by the Whitehouse takes control. Without full staffing, some OSHA departments could face a backlog. For instance, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which hears appeals of OSHA citations, has been without quorum since April 27.

However, many OSHA appointments require Senate approval, and while the Trump Whitehouse has made some nominations, none are yet scheduled for Senate confirmation hearings.

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