Worker Safety and Health in the Obama Years: The Importance of Enforcement

As the Senate gets ready to consider the nomination of Andrew Puzder for U.S. Secretary of Labor, it is important not to overlook worker health and safety issues during his confirmation hearings. Mr. Puzder is an outspoken critic of regulations who fails to acknowledge the crucial role that regulations play in protecting workers’ health and saving lives in dangerous workplaces.

This briefing paper examines just how vital the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its regulatory authority are to our nation’s workers, and the exceptional record the Obama administration has compiled in preventing serious injuries and saving lives through strong and fair enforcement. We cannot afford to go backward on health and safety. The Senate must conduct a rigorous examination of Mr. Puzder’s views on OSHA and its responsibilities, and demand detailed answers to questions about how he intends to protect our nation’s workers.

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About the Author

Deborah Berkowitz

Worker Health and Safety Program Director, National Employment Law Project