On February 4, 2014, OSHLP co-director Randy Rabinowitz testified before the House of Representatives Education & Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, stating a need for stronger worker safety protections and greater employee participation in inspections.
“The problem is not that OSHA regulates too much, but that it regulates too few health and safety hazards,” Rabinowitz said in her remarks before the subcommittee. “Between 1981-2010, OSHA issued 58 health and safety standards, only 16 of which regulate health hazards, according to GAO. It took OSHA an average of more than seven years to complete each rulemaking.
“These facts leave me dismayed that the focus of this hearing is on placing even more procedural burdens on OSHA before it can issue either letters of interpretation or policy guidance. Such a requirement would do nothing to protect workers and would make an already slow regulatory process even slower.”
“Our committee needs to focus on helping OSHA address the challenges of updating outmoded health standards, but instead, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to use this hearing and other actions to further undermine OSHA at the expense of workers across this country,” said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), senior Democrat on the subcommittee, in a written response. “After all, if credible scientific research tells us more protective health standards are needed, and it is clear that they are feasible but red tape stands in the way, isn’t this a problem worth addressing on a bipartisan basis? Yet, the approach of today’s hearing focuses on restraining OSHA, rather than delivering workers the protections they need and deserve.”