AIHA Supports National Small Business Regulatory Assistance Act

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is supporting the National Small Business Regulatory Assistance Act (H.R.203) introduced by Rep. John E. Sweeney (R, N.Y.). The intent of the bill is to provide a program for regulatory compliance assistance to small businesses.

"AIHA supports any and all efforts to provide a low-cost process to significantly improve health and safety in the workplace," said AIHA President Gayla J. McCluskey, CIH, CSP, ROH, QEP. "We are particularly pleased that Rep. Sweeney has included our suggested changes in this bill. AIHA has been active in supporting this legislation from the beginning."

The National Small Business Regulatory Assistance Act would provide for confidential, in-depth pro bono counseling to the owners and operators of small businesses regarding compliance with federal and state regulations, provided that such counseling is not considered to be the practice of law in the state in which such counseling is conducted. These programs would be offered through existing Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).

This potential partnership among federal agencies is designed to increase outreach efforts and access to training and educational activities, information and resources, including current federal and state nonpunitive compliance and technical assistance programs similar to those established under section 507 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Additionally, the program calls for SBDCs to function as an unbiased feedback mechanism to federal agencies on the regulatory environment for small businesses.

AIHA is especially interested in ensuring small businesses are referred to experts and other providers of compliance assistance and training that are qualified. "It is vital that assistance to small businesses be provided by those who are competent and qualified," McCluskey said. "The association continues to work to ensure that those who provide assistance and training to small businesses meet standards for educational, technical and professional competency and that the CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) and CSP (Certified Safety Professional) designations are given full recognition."

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