Posted in: Cost Cutting, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, News, Technology
Watch out if your company promotes itself as creating green jobs. You might be attracting some unwanted help from federal job safety cops.
That’s the warning clearly stated by the new head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), David Michaels.
Sworn in just this month, Michaels wasted no time in raising the specter of more safety inspections and likely fines for up-and-coming green companies.
When Michaels hears talk of “green jobs,” he translates that into “OSHA will have to inspect all these new jobsites.”
In a speech to say hello to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Michaels worried about the current rush to create a green economy. While creating green jobs is a great idea, he’s also worried that “employers who race into this green economy without paying attention to worker safety will blunder into many preventable injuries and deaths.”
Since green jobs are not inherently safer than any other type of job, Michaels warns that when he hears:
- “weatherization and renovation,” OSHA sees exposure to lead and asbestos
- “insulation,” OSHA thinks exposure to toxic materials like isocyanates
- “rooftop solar power,” OHSA sees fall hazards, and
- “wind energy,” OSHA’s worries about lockout hazards.
Take-home for green companies: Make sure you provide workers with personal protective equipment, that they wear it on the job site and that your company conducts regular safety meetings to discuss ways to avoid job-related injuries.