***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Subcommittee to Review Recent Changes to OSHA’s Regulatory and Enforcement Policies
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 3, 2014
On Tuesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), will hold a hearing entitled, “OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda: Changing Long-Standing Policies Outside the Public Rulemaking Process.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health standards. Standards are generally set through a regulatory process governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires agencies to issue a proposed rule, collect public comments, and review and respond to those comments in a final rule. Additionally, OSHA must determine a risk to health and safety exists, evaluate the technical feasibility of compliance, and examine the economic impact of the rule.
On numerous occasions the Obama administration has circumvented the public rulemaking process in order to significantly change health and safety standards. For example, OSHA issued informal “guidance” that allows the agency to inspect family farms, despite a clear legal prohibition against such enforcement activity. OSHA also released a “letter of interpretation” to dramatically alter long-standing policies regarding non-employee participation in safety inspections. While previous administrations have used these tools to clarify the law, the current administration has used them to dramatically change significant rules without public input and, at times, without basis in the law.
Tuesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to examine these troubling enforcement and regulatory practices. To learn more about Tuesday’s hearing, visit /hearings.
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Mr. Maury Baskin