By Brent I. Clark and Meagan Newman

At an ABA conference in California today, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for OSHA, Jordan Barab, described some of the consequences of the sequester on OSHA’s enforcement activity.

OSHA Enforcement

While it appears that furloughs will not take place, there will be significant impacts on compliance assistance and inspections. The Deputy Assistant Secretary told the audience of safety and health attorneys representing management, organized labor, and government, that he anticipated roughly 1400 fewer compliance consultations and 1200 fewer inspections.  There are also likely to be similar impacts among the state plan OSHA jurisdictions.

MSHA Case Backlog

At the same conference, the Solicitor of Labor, Hon. M. Patricia Smith, described effects of the sequester on efforts to reduce the large backlog of MSHA cases.  As a result of the sequester, the MSHA backlog offices in Arlington and Atlanta will close, and the Denver office faces significant reductions!