NATE is hoping to resurrect its partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the incoming administration. NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway said during a webinar on Thursday: “We will do everything we can to revive that.”
Ed Foulke believes there will be more focus on alliances and partnerships with industry and trade associations in the Trump administration. Foulke is a former assistant secretary of labor for OSHA and is now a partner at Fisher Phillips and co-chairs the law firm’s Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group.
Something like the former NATE-OSHA partnership involved best practices and training, “things that would help industry across-the-board using OSHA’s expertise, but also using industry expertise” like tower knowledge, he said.
Noting the Obama administration has been aggressively focused on enforcement, and increased the budget for inspectors, Foulke said Voluntary Protection Program sites were reduced from 220 to about 180. “It’s unlikely any new sites will be added soon,” predicted Foulkes.
Overall, he believes OSHA will reevaluate its priorities in the New Year, removing some and adding others. He suggested NATE and some member companies plan to buttonhole some OSHA leaders once a new assistant secretary is appointed, possibly some six to eight months after the inauguration in January.
NATE plans to place the information from the webinar “OSHA in a Trump Administration,” on its website.