WASHINGTON - The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) urged Congress to pass four Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reform bills that have been approved by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

"ABC supports the vital work done by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration," said Kirk Pickerel, ABC's president and CEO. "However, we also believe that the reforms contained in the four bills" passed by the committee "are necessary to ensure that OSHA carries out its duties in a fair, efficient, and responsible manner.

"We thank Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.) and Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio) for sponsoring these important OSHA reforms, and urge Congress to quickly pass these four bills. These reforms will be very helpful to the small businesses that make up the majority of America's construction contractors."

The four bills are:

  • H.R. 2728, the Occupational Safety and Health Small Business Day in Court Act: This provides the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) with flexibility to use its discretion to extend the 15-day deadline for employers to file responses to OSHA citations to resolve cases on merit rather than legal technicalities, says ABC.

  • H.R. 2729, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Efficiency Act: This increases the size of the OSHRC from three to five members to help increase the speed and efficiency with which workplace safety and health cases are reviewed and resolved.

  • H.R. 2730, the Occupational Safety and Health Independent Review of OSHA Citations Act: This restores checks and balances by ensuring that the OSHRC, and not OSHA itself, interprets the law and provides an independent review of OSHA citations, says the association.

  • H.R. 2731, the Occupational Safety and Health Small Employer Access to Justice Act: This requires that OSHA more fully assess the merits of a case before bringing enforcement actions against small businesses.

    Publication date: 05/10/2004