Contractors Urge Quick Passage of OSHA Reform Bills

May 7, 2004
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) wants Congress to pass four OSHA reform bills that were approved May 5 by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

"ABC supports the vital work done by OSHA, with whom we partner across the nation on construction industry safety. However, we also believe that the reforms contained in the four bills passed yesterday by the House Education and the Workforce Committee are necessary to ensure that OSHA carries out its duties in a fair, efficient and responsible manner," said Kirk Pickerel, ABC president and CEO. "These reforms will be very helpful to the small businesses that make up the majority of America's construction contractors."

The four bills passed by the committee were:

H.R. 2728 - The Occupational Safety and Health Small Business Day in Court Act: This provides the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) with flexibility to use its discretion to extend the 15-day deadline for employers to file responses to OSHA citations to resolve cases on merit rather than legal technicalities.

H.R. 2729 - The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Efficiency Act: This increases the size of the OSHRC from three to five members to increase the speed and efficiency with which workplace safety and health cases are reviewed and resolved.

H.R. 2730 - The Occupational Safety and Health Independent Review of OSHA Citations Act: This restores checks and balances by ensuring that the OSHRC, and not OSHA itself, interprets the law and provides an independent review of OSHA citations.

H.R. 2731 - The Occupational Safety and Health Small Employer Access to Justice Act: This requires that OSHA more fully assess the merits of a case before bringing unnecessary enforcement actions against small businesses.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association representing 23,000 construction and construction-related firms in 80 chapters across the United States.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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