Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Washington State DOSH and Federal OSHA Directions and Current Focus

Contributed by Roger Hurst, Evergreen Safety Council

I would like to thank Dr. Michael Silverstein, L&I Manager of DOSH and Mr. Dale Cavanaugh, Assistant Regional Administrator OSHA Region 10, for making their presentations at the Puget Sound Safety Summit on April 14, 2010 in Seattle WA. They both gave informative presentations regarding their respective organizations and what businesses will be facing in the future.

They both felt the penalties for violations are too small to provide incentive for some employees to comply with the rules and regulations, and they felt by raising the penalties for violations would be appropriate. They felt American workers still face unacceptable hazards. More than 5,000 workers are killed on the job each year, more that 4 millions are injured and thousands more may become ill later on from occupational exposures. The workplace has changed since 1970 when some of the worker regulations first came into effect.

The Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA) changes the burden of proof from “willfully” to” knowingly”. Section 311 states that any employer who “knowingly” violates any standard, rule, or order that results in the death of an employee is subject to a fine and not more that 10 years in prison. Several businesses across our nation were sent letters in March of this year, stating they had reported higher rates of workplace injuries that the national average in their respective industries. The real message, and the intent of they letter, was “get your act together because a serious OSHA inspection may be coming your way soon.”

Most employers want to do the right thing. You should expect more aggressive enforcement for both DOSH and OSHA here in the Northwest. Training in workplace safety will definitely be a good addition to your current plans. Safer work places have a higher morale factor and job satisfaction and work efficiency improve. Get your employees involved in your health and safety training now. You will be glad you did. We here at Evergreen Safety Council will gladly help you with all your safety training needs. Call in and ask about our new Total Safety Compliance training system and customize it to your company. Please call Roger Hurst or Tina Bacon at 206-382-4090 to learn more.


  1. Prevent injuries, save lives and reduce occupational health and safety training costs.
    Our OSHA training courses are developed by Certified instructors and industry experts who offer standards-based OSHA compliance training necessary to ensure a safe working environment.

  2. Hmmm... That's interesting. Where did you first hear about this? Do you have other blog posts I can take a look at?

    Justin Davis
    MK Partners
    Workplace Efficiency Experts


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