Issa, Towns Challenge OSHA to Rectify Workplace Safety Enforcement Failures

Published: Apr 27, 2009

Inspector General report determines lack of implementation caused “avoidable fatalities”

WASHINGTON. D.C. – The Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter today to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis expressing concern regarding a report released by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identifying “multiple failures in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Enhanced Enforcement Program (EEP) which resulted in a number of avoidable fatalities.

“These shortcomings raise considerable concern, especially at a time when employee safety could suffer as employers are hard pressed for cash,” Issa and Towns wrote to Secretary Solis.  “OSHA has failed to place the ‘appropriate management emphasis and resources on this program.’  Based on this OIG report, the effective implantation of EEP could potentially eliminate hundreds of workplace fatalities.

The OIG report found that in 97% of the 282 sampled EEP qualifying cases, OSHA did not comply with at least one of the EEP requirements.  Issa and Towns call on OSHA to comply with a number of IG recommendations including the formation of an EEP Task Force and to provide formal training to comply with EEP guidelines.

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.