Stakeholder Collaboration with OSHA Examined by US House Committee

March 12, 2018

For the first time in nearly two years, the US House Education and the Workforce Committee recently held a hearing on workplace safety titled “A More Effective and Collaborative OSHA: A View from Stakeholders.” Strident words from a variety of perspectives were more than present, and the hearing at times devolved into a near shouting match among the witnesses. Somewhat surprisingly, though, consensus was also present. The witnesses represented a range of views and stakeholders, including the US Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Home Builders, and the immediate past head of OSHA, Dr. David Michaels – but all agreed on the importance of OSHA.

Among the many issues discussed were:
  • Overly complex regulations and guidance
  • The costs to businesses of worker health and safety regulations
  • The costs to the economy and businesses of worker injuries, illnesses and deaths
  • The need for more compliance assistance
  • The need for consistent interpretation and enforcement of OSHA regulations across regional offices

  • The need for more OSHA inspectors
  • Greater collaboration between OSHA and the private sector
  • Support for the Voluntary Protection Programs
  • Concern about “shame and blame” press releases
  • Concern about the ability to prosecute employers that deliberately violate worker health and safety rules
  • Connections between the opioid epidemic and workers’ comp
  • Urging the Senate to confirm Scott Mugno as the new assistant secretary of OSHA
  • The need to update PELs
  • The many workers who are not covered by OSHA rules
Witness statements and the archived webcast of the hearing can be found here.