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News + Events

The Galson Blog

Edward Stuber CIH


Tying OSHA's Hands

The old “Hi I am from the government and I am here to help you.” saying is trying to strike again. This time government is trying to alter the rulemaking process within OSHA. As if OSHA doesn’t already have a tough row to hoe in getting new regulatory rulemaking in place. Currently, OSHA has been trying to get 3 compounds of interest - beryllium, diacetyl, and silica dust - updated with new regulatory limits. It has been 9 years since OSHA started the process with beryllium, 4 years with diacetyl, and 8 years with silica dust. So let’s pile on some more government rules to slow them down even more. Does that sound like a good idea? How many excess cases of cancer and other disease must we endure before we come to our senses?

Two bills seeking to “reduce the burden on employers by regulatory agencies” (i.e. OSHA), have passed the House and are awaiting action in the Senate. One bill would have OSHA pursue alternatives and present additional evidence for the necessity of the proposed regulations. The other bill would require agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of regulatory alternatives, and then adopt the least-costly alternative.

Proponents of the bills say regulations have become a barrier to economic growth and job creation with opponents argue that regulations improve productivity and save businesses money in the long run.

Which side do you fall on? As a health and safety professional – I know where I stand.

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