Wallisch, Sean

In the first three months of Trump’s presidency, OSHA has only issued one press release on enforcement fines. One former OSHA executive is changing that however, reporting the fines himself.

Since January, Jordan Barab has reported 44 construction-related cases which amount to more than $3.9 million in penalties. On his site Confined Space, Barab states it was the policy of the Obama administration to “issue a press release for any citation greater than $40,000.” Since Januray 20th, Pesident Trump’s inauguration, OSHA has “issued roughly 200 citations for $40,000 or above” without any press releases, save for one briefing April 12th when a $1.5 million citation was handed to Atlantic Drain Service Co. for killing two workers in a trench collapse.

In an earlier post, Barab argued that press releases matter because they "help leverage resources" in an agency where just 2,000 inspectors oversee 8 million workplaces. “Instead of a citation just affecting the company that was a cited, a strong press release will impact other companies in the same geographic area, as well as companies in the same industry," he wrote. "Industry attorneys repeatedly told me over the past several years that their clients don’t really care about the low fines OSHA issues; what terrifies them is being mentioned in a press release.”

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