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House Dems Introduce OSHA Reform Legislation

Posted By Mark Ellis, Monday, February 11, 2019

Last week Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced H.R. 1074, the Protecting American Workers Act.  The bill would amend the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act by covering additional workers and bolstering protections for whistleblowers, while also enhancing penalties.  The bill has 27 original co-sponsors, including Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.

Former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) first introduced a version of the bill in 2004 and other Democrats have introduced various versions since then.  Rep. Courtney reintroduced similar bills in 2015 and 2017.

According to the press release issued by Rep. Courtney’s office, the bill would do the following:

  • Expand OSHA coverage to state and local government employees in 25 states and broaden OSHA coverage to include federal employees;

  • Require correction of hazardous conditions while a citation is being contested;

  • Reinstate an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records and reverse a Congressional Review Act resolution;

  • Improve whistleblower protections;

  • Update obsolete consensus standards;

  • Deter high gravity violations by increasing civil monetary penalties;

  • Authorize felony penalties against employers who knowingly commit OSHA violations;

  • Require OSHA to investigate all cases of death or serious injuries;

  • Establish rights for families of workers who were killed on the job; and

  • Improve protections for workers in state plan states.

The full press release can be accessed through the following link:

A PDF version of H.R. 1074 (without bill number) is attached.

 Attached Files:
HR 1074.pdf (155.17 KB)

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