The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has expressed its support of a new House bill to expand coverage under OSHA to employees of state and local government.
In a letter written yesterday to Rep. Robert E. Andrews, D-N.J., who introduced the Fairness of State and Local Workers Act, AIHA affirmed its long-standing support of this effort "to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act to provide coverage under the act for employees of states and political subdivisions of states."
"Supporting this legislation is not a difficult decision for AIHA," AIHA President Henry B. Lick, stated in the letter. "We believe that all workers, regardless of their employer, should be provided quality health and safety workplace protection."
The letter also expressed AIHA''s hope that as the bill moves forward, Congress will assure states and political subdivisions that adequate resources for training, compliance assistance, and other forms of workplace health and safety education will be allocated to meet OSHA compliance requirements.
"While expansion of health and safety protection is important, AIHA is just as concerned that resources expended by our states and political subdivisions are for citizen services, and that those services are not compromised to provide worker health and safety protections," the letter said. "Both should be feasible if adequate resources are allocated."
In March 1999, AIHA wrote a similar letter of support to Andrews, who had introduced H.R. 776, a comparable effort to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
by Virginia Sutcliffe