DOI, BOEMRE propose more offshore safety regulations
The US Department of Interior proposed six more rules that offshore oil and gas producers would need to include in their safety and environmental protection programs. Specifically, the new proposals would establish additional job safety requirements, guidelines for reporting unsafe work conditions, procedures to allow any employee to implement a stop-work action when witnessing dangerous activity, ultimate work safety and decision-making authority on an offshore facility, an employee participation program, and a requirement that safety audits be conducted by third parties.
Farewell to an acronym
The awkwardly named hybrid agency responsible for the regulation of offshore drilling, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, is being reorganized out of existence at the end of the month, barely 16 months after its creation. Boemre — variously pronounced BOH-murr, BOME-ree, and, by some in the oil and gas industry, bummer — will dissolve on Sept. 30. It will be replaced by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM (pronounced bohm or perhaps BOH-ehm, a bit like the Puccini opera), and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE, known less than affectionately as “Bessie”).
US cites Exxon Louisiana refinery on safety breaches
Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) refinery in Baton Rouge, La., exposed workers to possible fires and explosions among other safety violations, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Tuesday. The 502,000-barrels-per-day refinery, the country’s second largest, faces $126,000 in fines for the 20 serious and two other-than-serious violations found by the agency in a March 14 inspection.
The Davis-Bacon Act – protecting communities since 1931
Eighty years ago during the Great Depression, Congress passed the Davis-Bacon Act, a measure designed to ensure all workers involved in a public works project – something that benefits entire communities – aren’t taken advantage of and are paid a prevailing wage.
OSHA announces ‘DOL enforcement data 2.0’
Originally created as part of the administration’s Open Government Initiative, the site offers public access to the department’s enforcement actions. It is “helping to ensure a level playing field for employers who follow the law,” according to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis. Users can also view agency metrics, perform keyword searches, filter data — by year, violations or penalties, and export search results or a data set to downloadable formats. There is a ‘labs’ feature that allows users to create data visualizations and animations using several decades of MSHA data.
Who picked your berries?
In an ideal world – one that the Wage and Hour Division is working hard to create along with its many partners – every employer would pay workers of all ages a fair wage and would employ the young only when they are old enough and only in jobs in which their welfare can be assured. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, at least not yet.
$917,000 penalty issued to Massachusetts company
OSHA on Sept. 13 announced one of its largest enforcement cases this year, saying it has cited Bostik Inc. of Middleton, Mass., an adhesives manufacturer, for 50 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following a March 13 explosion at the Middleton plant.
Carnival company fined after worker dies
A Georgia company faces a $27,000 fine for safety violations after a carnival worker was killed in North Carolina while dismantling a Ferris wheel in May.