Solis Announces Texas Construction Enforcement Blitz

SAN ANTONIO -- U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told attendees at Safety 2009 that OSHA will conduct a construction enforcement blitz in Texas in July, with extra inspectors brought in from other states to check sites for trenching, fall, scaffolding, and other potential violations. “The state of Texas has the dubious distinction of having the most worker fatalities in the nation. Not one that I think they’re proud of,” Solis said during a speech Monday morning at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ annual conference at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Addressing a nearly full ballroom of safety professionals, she said 67 workers died on the job in Texas in 2008, and so far in 2009, another 33 workers have died in the state. The rate of Latino worker fatalities in construction is particularly alarming, she said, because it increased by 125 percent between 1992 and 2007.

Acting OSHA Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab addressed the conference attendees in a Monday afternoon session and spoke Monday evening at a Safety Professionals and the Latino Workforce (SPALW, an ASSE Common Interest Group) meeting on “The Future of Accident Prevention & Your Spanish Speaking Workforce.”

During her speech, Solis reiterated that she wants OSHA to increase its enforcement, partly by adding 130 new inspectors if President Obama’s proposed FY2010 budget for her department is approved. The budget contains $1.7 billion for worker protection, up 10 percent from FY2009 spending, she said, but some of the increased enforcement personnel will work on workplace discrimination and wage and hour cases.

Asked by a reporter about concerns the added OSHA inspection personnel will not be enough, Solis essentially agreed but said the department can’t afford in this economic environment to do more. “I know that we’re not up to levels that we should be in terms of inflation (from FY2009 spending),” she said. She also said she and the administration have “a new approach” of respect for OSHA and its mission, saying that contrasts with the attitude taken during the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2022

    July / August 2022

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Specific PPE is Needed for Entry and Exit
    • HAZARD COMMUNICATION
      Three Quick Steps to Better HazCom Training
    • GAS DETECTION
      Building a Chemical Emergency Toolkit
    • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      The Last Line of Defense
    View This Issue