U.S. Continues To Lag In COVID-19 Workplace Safety, Former OSHA Official Says – By Tonya Mosley (NPR) / January 14 2021
As COVID-19 deaths and illnesses mount, essential workers — who are denied the chance to work from home — are struggling to stay safe. And it’s far from clear if the federal government is doing enough to protect them, according to a former top federal workplace safety official.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration official, Deborah Berkowitz, says the Trump administration has neglected COVID-19 safety at meatpacking plants and many other workplaces.
“What keeps me up at night is that nine months after the beginning of the pandemic, that there are still no specific requirements, that as a nation, every business that has employees has to implement to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Berkowitz, a former chief of staff and senior policy adviser at OSHA under President Obama. She’s currently the worker health and safety program director for the National Employment Law Project.
In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, Berkowitz said she guesses OSHA should have done safety 10,000 to 20,000 inspections since March and instead has done only a few hundred. “OSHA has been AWOL,” she said.