With a new presidential administration in place, many federal workers are holding their breath as they wait for the next leader of the Department of Labor to be appointed, and the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) director to be chosen. There have been predictions that the labor policies we have come to know may have significant changes as a result of a new administration and appointments to these departments. How significant? Here are some of the predictions from labor law experts:
Shift from Enforcement to Compliance
Labor law experts believe that under the new administration, OSHA will begin to move away from an enforcement-based strategy, and more towards compliance assistance as well as cooperative programs for employers. In other words, there may be less regulation involved in OSHA, which will be a large change considering OSHA’s regulating nature.
Decrease in Funding
Experts have suggested that OSHA may be seeing a decrease in funding under the new administration, specifically funding for enforcement if the organization begins to shifttowards compliance assistance. There have also been predictions that the way OSHA spends its funding could change as well.
Newer Regulations in Jeopardy
In addition to shifts in programs and funding, labor law experts have predicted that a few of newly established OSHA regulations may be in jeopardy under a new administration, such as the injury and illness record keeping rule, the silica rule, and the more recent “blacklisting rule.”
Regardless of these possible changes, you should not expect to see any big shifts in OSHA policies overnight. Usually,with a new administration, it takes nearly a couple of years or more to start seeing significant differences in policies or laws. In addition, there are a few aspects of OSHA that are expected to remain the same. For example, worker safety regulations have been known to survive many administration changes over the years, so there will be no surprise if they continue to remain intact.