OSHA's Restructuring Gets Approval of Senator Bond

The recent announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that it is restructuring to provide more compliance assistance, particularly to small business owners, is "a tremendous step forward in bringing to small businesses the type of assistance they need to navigate the maze of safety regulations they face every day," said Senator Kit Bond (R, Mo.).

The new Office of Small Business Assistance, part of an overall restructuring announced on August 27, places new emphasis on making OSHA a source for assistance rather than just an enforcement agency.

"Assistant Secretary-OSHAJohn Henshaw made it clear from the start that he thought more compliance could be achieved if employers had more assistance rather than just getting threatened with more citations, so I'm pleased to see that he has found a way to make this happen," commented Bond. "This also helps deliver on the message from President Bush and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao that small businesses would be better provided for under this administration while at the same time maintaining the necessary emphasis on enforcement."

The new office will work with a wide variety of stakeholders such as small businesses and their associations to develop compliance assistance materials and methods of getting them to the thousands of small businesses who are unable to hire full time safety staff or hire expensive consultants. The Office of Small Business Assistance will also be better positioned to solicit input from small businesses about how OSHA can best address their concerns.

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