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Happy New Year!

With the San Jose State Spartans reaching the Top 25 for the first time in history and winning their first bowl game in forever, life is good! We hope your year is starting well too!

“Most Influential”!

2012 ended on a high note when Fred was named by Cal-OSHA Reporter to its list of the people “Most Influential” in Cal/OSHA’s world. He was described as a “vocal critic” of Cal/OSHA, but prefers to think of himself as a voice of reason speaking for the “regulated community.”

Fred is honored to be in company with so many of the friends and “frenimies” he has come to know and respect over the past (few) decades.

To see Fred’s viewpoint on undocumented workers, injury recording and reporting, the effects of AB 2774 and the sea change at Cal/OSHA, and our view of our role in OSHA appeals, go to: Fred’s Interview

The Firm Expands!

2013 starts for Walter & Prince with another first as well: A new office in Los Angeles to serve our Southern California clients better. Located at 10904 Wilshire Boulevard, just outside Westwood Village, it is close by the 405 corridor and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, and not so far from Orange County.

So, what’s in store for the world of OSHA in 2013?

The news is that there is no news. With the election changing nothing at the federal level except to free the executive branch from another election fight, OSHA will continue business as usual. We foresee no changes in policy at the Department of Labor when Secretary Hilda Solis leaves. And although Dr. Michaels also will be leaving this year as Chief of Fed/OSHA, his faithful sidekick, Jordan Barab, will not.

With the freedom only felt by political appointees not pressured by re-election worries, and abetted by tenured bureaucrats, Barab and Dr. Michaels’ replacement can be expected to keep putting the screws to employers. Count on continued heightened enforcement.

Here in California that means keeping the pressure on Cal/OSHA to write more serious, repeat and willful citations. Fed/OSHA’s most recent EFAME findings are not new: The main finding is that California continues to lag the other state-plan states in writing serious citations by some 20%. This, is despite replacing the old Cal/OSHA Chief, who was intent on finding common ground with the “regulated community,” with a new one who has a very broad definition of “bad employer,” and shows every intention of following Fed/OSHA’s bidding by destroying our VPP Construction program.


Comment from John Martin
Time January 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Thanks for the update. Has Dr. Michaels announced any intention to leave OSHA? I haven’t seen or heard anything.

Comment from admin
Time January 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm

You’re welcome John. It’s our plan to post more frequently this year. What topics would you like us to discuss?
In answer to your question, no, to my direct knowledge he has not. I am going from what I’ve been told by ITB (Inside the Beltway) friends who are familiar with the drama in Washington. It is said that he has to return to teaching or lose tenure and retirement benefits.

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