SPECIAL TO THE DIGITAL EDITION
Congress Enters the “Home Stretch” Synergist 10/10 www.aiha.org ® Washington Insider
As Congress prepares to recess for midterm elections, let’s review where the top OHS issues stand. Congress OSHA and MSHA Reform By far the biggest issue impacting the IH profession. As things now stand, a House Committee has approved a bill that includes changes to MSHA and OSHA. While the Committee approved the bill along party lines, it has yet to come to the full House for a vote. Will this occur? Hard to say. The Democrats have the votes to approve the bill, but there seems to be some concerns about whether this bill should include all of the OSHA reform measures in addition to the changes at MSHA. While odds are the House would approve the bill if it comes up for a vote, the odds are just as great that the Senate would not ap- prove the bill if the OSHA reform measures are included.
TSCA Reform Several months ago, legislation to reform the Toxic Sub- stances Control Act was expected to be enacted; the only debate was whether the measure would include provi- sions to improve worker protections under OSHA. But the bills introduced, which would strengthen EPA reforms but did not include OSHA provisions, stalled without any serious attempts at passage. The sponsors stated they did not expect to see any reform in this Congress but hoped to begin the discussion for future efforts.
Other Measures Barring the unexpected, the rest of the bills addressing OH&S issues introduced in this session of Congress look as though they will not be enacted. This includes legisla- tion that would codify the VPP program. However, expect to see these bills reintroduced come January and the start of the 112th session.
OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) Public meetings have concluded and the agency now be- gins the long process of compiling suggestions and rec- ommendations to determine what sort of program should be proposed. No timeline has been established, but most feel the agency will not be able to come up with a proposal before the end of the year. AIHA is also moving forward on this issue. A task force has been appointed and is working on a position statement/ white paper it hopes to have approved before year’s end.
Whistleblower Protection On Aug. 31, OSHA published interim final rules that will help protect workers who voice safety, health and security concerns. The regulations cover workers filing complaints in the railroad, public transit, commercial motor carrier and consumer product industries. While the regulations