Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Rep. Ellison To Acosta: Why is the Department of Labor Cutting Back on Workplace Safety Enforcement?

Jul 10, 2018
Press Release

In 2016 over 5,000 people died from workplace injuries, a 7 percent increase since the previous year

WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) today sent a letter to Department of Labor (the Department) Secretary Alexander Acosta requesting data on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) resources dedicated to enforcing workplace safety standards.

Despite a marked increase in workplace injuries between 2015 and 2016, the Trump administration has cut back on the number of Enforcement Units within the Department and federal OSHA inspectors since taking office. 

“Work-related injury and death are largely preventable, yet the Department has done little to address the increase in workplace injuries and prevent additional harm to families and our economy,” Rep. Ellison’s letter reads. “The high number of workplace injuries and the significant increase in workplace fatalities demonstrates the need for the Department to dedicate the proper resources to OSHA’s efforts.”

Rep. Ellison requested a response by July 24th to a series of questions, including, “How many inspectors has the Department on-boarded since January 1, 2018?” and “Currently, how are you targeting the most dangerous workplaces?”

Read the full letter here [PDF]

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