TEXT OF STORY
SCOTT JAGOW: Today in Washington, the Senate takes a hard look at OSHA. That’s the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. OSHA handles workplace injuries and things that might threaten the safety of people on the job. But critics say OSHA hasn’t been doing its job.Steve Henn reports.
STEVE HENN: Five years ago today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an emergency memo warning that a common chemical used in artificial butter was linked to a rare and potentially deadly lung disease.
DR. DAVID MICHAELS: Since then OSHA has done virtually nothing.
Dr. David Michaels follows OSHA enforcement at George Washington University.
Until this year OSHA had not taken any steps to write new rules about this food additive even though it’s used at thousands of plants. Peg Siminario is at the AFL-CIO.
PEG SIMINARIO: They are doing nothing to reduce exposure to cancer causing agents and other chemicals in the workplace.
OSHA administrators say writing new rules takes time. They note that workplace illness and injury rates have fallen 13 percent since 2002 and they credit aggressive enforcement. But a University of Michigan study found the agency’s statistics miss roughly two workplace injuries for each one they catch.In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.