Posted at 6:38 AM on July 12, 2011
by Jon Gordon
From MPR News reporter Annie Baxter:
During the state government shutdown, the Minnesota office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is operating with a skeleton crew.
The office is only responding to situations workplace fatalities, imminent danger, serious injury and "high gravity" complaints, according to spokesman James Honerman
"If someone said, 'There's a bad smell in this office. I have a headache,' we'd have to review the situation and see whether we had anyone here, versus 'I'm being forced to work on a roof without fall protection.' That could slide over to an imminent danger situation," he said.
Minnesota OSHA is also not doing any workplace safety consultations. The office gets many phone calls each day seeking guidance on safety and health issues.
Minnesota OSHA by the numbers:
-Normal staffing of OSHA Compliance inspectors: 57
-Current staffing during shutdown: 5
-Normal inspections conducted by MNOSHA Compliance: 220 a month