OSHA Reform

OVERVIEW

ABC is committed to promoting healthy and safe work environments. ABC understands the importance of common-sense regulations based on sound evidence and scientific analysis with appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and input from employers. Many ABC companies have implemented safety programs that are among the best programs in the industry, often far exceeding legal requirements.

Additionally, ABC strongly believes that employers should take steps to ensure that employees are protected, and we are dedicated to ensuring employers and employees have the latest and best information about workplace safety and health in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

ABC is strongly committed to a collaborative effort between industry and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which will increase workplace safety and promote economic opportunity in the United States.

 

ABC SUPPORTS

  • Meaningful, constructive oversight of OSHA’s regulatory and enforcement agendas.

  • Ensuring that new and existing OSHA standards are as practical, performance-oriented and cost-effective as possible.

  • Restructuring the Occupational Safety and Health Act to codify collaborative approaches to education, training and technical assistance.

  • Fair and responsible inspection and enforcement policies, regardless of labor affiliation.

  • OSHA’s current approach of issuing industry-specific guidance based on the latest information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 emergency. Employers and employees alike are far better served by an approach that focuses on disseminating the latest information available and tailoring safety guidance to reflect the rapidly evolving understanding of this public health emergency.   

  • Voluntary Protection Act (H.R. 1956/S. 904), sponsored by Rep. Roe, R-TN and Sen. Enzi, R-WY, which provides statutory authority for the voluntary protection program within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Under the program, management, labor, and OSHA must establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that have implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system.

 

ABC OPPOSES

  • Proposals that would require OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Such a requirement is included in the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6559) and would issue a rigid, one-size-fits-all standard. The government is learning new information about COVID-19 and how best to mitigate related hazards on an almost daily and sometimes even hourly basis, which is why a static, intransigent rule would not be an appropriate response. OSHA’s resources are better deployed by developing timely and situational-specific guidance documents, which can be adjusted and adapted as the agency and public health authorities better understand the pandemic.

  • Any legislation introducing anti-employer provisions to the OSH Act.

 

UPDATE

OSHA Enforcement Related to COVID-19

Since March 14, OHA has issued eight enforcement memoranda related to COVID-19, which are in effect and time-limited to the current public health crisis.

OSHA’s enforcement memoranda include:

Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (May 2020)

Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (May 2020)

Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer's Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (April 2020)

Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces in All Industries During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (April 2020)

Enforcement Guidance for Use of Respiratory Protection Equipment Certified under Standards of Other Countries or Jurisdictions During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic (April 2020)

OSHA also published COVID-19 guidance specifically related to construction work. Additional resources can be found on OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage and ABC’s Coronavirus Update webpage.