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ASSP Comments on Protecting America's Workers Act

Apr 30, 2019
In technical comments submitted to several members of House of Representatives, ASSP shared its views on the Protecting America's Workers (PAW) Act (H.R. 1074). The legislation would amend the OSH Act of 1970 in several ways that ASSP believes would help bettter protect U.S. workers:
  • Expand federal OSHA coverage to encompass public sector workers, 8.5 million of whom are left without enforceable workplace safety protections.
  • Enhance whistleblower protections by extending reporting statutes from 30 days to 180 days. OSHA's 30-day statute of limitations is the shortest of any whistleblower statute in federal law.
  • Expand employer liability for violations under the General Duty Clause.
  • Require OSHA to update national consensus standards that were initially incorporated by reference as enforceable standards, as many of these lag well behind current versions and don't reflect current best practice for protecting workers.
The proposed legislation would also restore the 2016 e-recordkeeping rule, which ASSP has expressed concerns about in the past and believes is better addressed by the agency and through the court system. It would also codify the agency's continuing violation rule, which was rescinded in 2017 and ASSP sees no reason to visit that decision. In addition, the legislation would codify the severe injury reporting rules covering fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations and eye loss. ASSP sees this as unnecessary as these cases always receive priority status for inspection purposes.

In its statement, ASSP also reiterated many of the key recommendations covered in its OSHA Reform Blueprint, including using a risk-based approach to worker protection, increased use of third-party auditors and emphasizing total worker health.

Read ASSP's executive summary

Read ASSP's statement

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