On Safety

The On Safety blog has moved.

Government shut down, senator steps up

October 11, 2013

Want to know what OSHA is up to? You might need to search beyond the usual channels.

Part of my job is to check government websites on a daily basis for any new information posted – scheduled hearings, proposed rules or noteworthy penalties. But because of the federal government shutdown, agency websites aren’t being updated and the flow of information has nearly halted.

But that doesn’t mean government agencies aren’t doing anything noteworthy.

The fertilizer explosion in West, TX, in April was devastating – at least 15 people died and about 200 were injured. OSHA was investigating the blast, and its findings would be newsworthy. Because of the shutdown, the public may not know what those findings are.

Fortunately, some insiders are keeping tabs on what’s going on and passing it along. Enter Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

Yesterday, Boxer scheduled a press conference to announce OSHA’s findings and the penalties the agency issued. Her reason was simple: OSHA couldn’t announce its findings because of the shutdown, but people need to know.

“So I'm stepping in here so, as a result of my telling you these things, another explosion could be prevented,” she said, according to an article published by The Dallas Morning News.

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)