Any one who follows OSHA's press releases has probably noticed a recent jump in the number of sig-cases (a sig or significant case is any OSHA case where the proposed penalty exceeds $100,000). I've certainly noticed a jump, although I don't have the numbers to back it up.
The left-wing politicos will, of course, claim it's the current administration doing what the previous one failed to do. And the right-wing politicos will, of course, claim it's another example of the left's assault on business. But here's the thing, no one has told me to do more sig-cases, just like under the previous administration, no one told me not to do sig-cases. There was no memo. There was no directive.
The fact that the number of sig-cases has gone up even though no one told us to do more, has lead me to the realization that we, as compliance staff, are self limiting, or at least self regulating. After I came to that realization I began to think about various conversations over the last 20+ years.
I remember conversations when the previous administration came into power that basically went like this: "Oh, this administration will never support a sig-case." That was it. This despite the fact that we received no memo saying we were doing too many sig-cases. For the CSHOs out there, think back over the previous administrations time, have any of you ever heard of a sig-case that was rejected once it went to the NO? Certainly once the NO attorneys take their hacks at it, the language, specific standard and penalty may be slightly adjusted, but none that I know of dropped below $100,000.
I remember conversations early last year that basically said: "Oh, this administration will support all our sig-cases." That was it. This despite the fact that we received no memo saying we weren't doing enough sig-cases.
This has lead me to the conclusion that we have allowed ourselves to be caught up in the liberal/conservative-hype-machine's rhetoric. We have suppressed our training and instincts in favor of what we assume the current administration wants, instead of making the administration tell us what they want.
This could lead to a whole new political science/sociology field of study that I think should be called Organizational Subconscious Psychology. Alternatively we could call it the Lemming Phenomenon.