House Subcommittee Hearing on a More Collaborative OSHA

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As part of our continuous advocacy for the occupational safety profession, we monitor the federal government’s activities related to workplace safety. On Feb. 27, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing with industry stakeholders to discuss how OSHA can be more effective and collaborative. Subcommittee Chair Bradley Byrne (R-AL) said his goal was to explore “how OSHA can work more cooperatively with job creators, especially in the small business community, to expand its compliance assistance efforts and for employers to provide the safest and healthiest workplaces possible.”

Speaking on the importance of workplace safety, Byrne said, “No matter the size of the business, the number of workers it employs or the industry it supports, workplace safety is the responsibility and should be a chief priority of all businesses. Every worker deserves a safe and healthy workplace.”

Witnesses at the hearing included representatives from the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), the National Home Builders Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as former OSHA administrator David Michaels, Ph.D., M.P.H.

The witnesses shared their personal perspectives and experiences with OSHA and described ways they feel the administration can better partner and collaborate with businesses to help them comply with OSHA regulations and provide safer work environments.  

“As an industry, we recognize the legal and moral obligation to provide our employees with a safe workplace,” said J. Gary Hill, president of the National Association of Home Builders. “As a business owner, I take the health and safety of all workers on my site seriously. It’s one of my most important jobs. We want OSHA to be a partner, not an adversary.”

In a statement issued after the hearing, the subcommittee stated that it will “continue to encourage greater cooperation and collaboration between OSHA and its stakeholders, while ensuring that worker health and workplace safety remain a chief priority for businesses nationwide.”

ASSE has called for improvements in the current regulatory approach as well, as described in the reform blueprint we published in mid-2017.  "We want an OSHA that works well for all involved, one that is transformative rather than transactional, nimble rather than sclerotic, cooperative rather than partisan."

Watch the full hearing here.


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