onal Review Act to kill it if it is ever
ttom line: Don’t expect to see
ything for several months, per-ps not until after the election.
the president is re-elected, the
oposal will move forward and
ngress will likely get involved. If
e GOP takes control of the White
ouse, you won’t even be able to
d a copy of the proposal, as it will
killed and buried within OSHA.
IOSH and ERC Funding
pporters of continued funding of
OSH’s Education and Research
nters (ERCs) and its Agriculture,
restry and Fishing (AFF) sector
e gearing up for a tough fight with
ngress and the administration.
e president has proposed slash-g all funding for these programs,
ying they “are a low priority.” In
dition, the GOP is in the process
adopting its own budget, which
cludes a considerable amount of
deral spending cuts. It’s a good
t that these two programs are
HA supports the continued fund-
g of these programs. AIHA, many
HA local sections and other or-
nizations have signed a letter to
sent to members of Congress in
support of the programs. AIHA also
submitted written testimony for the
record at a recent House hearing on
appropriations, and will be sending
its own letter to a select group of
members of Congress. AIHA will provide its members with opportunities
to contact elected officials to either
support or oppose the programs.
Speaking of federal spending, Republicans in the House have stated
opposition to the president’s proposed OSHA budget for FY 2013.
Don’t worry just yet; this is the beginning of the debate, and there’s a
long way to go.
Employer Incentive and
I don’t doubt that some employers
provide incentives to employees if
no injuries or illnesses are reported.
Several government studies have
concluded that this is a concern with
some employers, so OSHA issued a
memorandum to regional administrators and whistleblower program
managers on March 12. This memorandum is intended to provide guidance in assisting field compliance
officers and whistleblower investigative staff. The memorandum does
provide guidance; however, some
in business and industry believe
the memorandum allows OSHA too
much power in this area.
For example, one situation cited
was where an employee reports an
injury, and the employer imposes
discipline on the employee because
the employee was in violation of a
safety or health rule. Is the employer
imposing discipline because a report
was filed or that the employee violated the rule? And what enforcement would OSHA impose?
The bottom line is this: I expect
there to be a lawsuit over the
memorandum. We might see the
lawsuit filed over the content of the
memorandum, as well as the fact
that OSHA is attempting to impose
enforcement through “
memorandum” and “guidance” rather than
rulemaking. Remember, there was
legislation introduced in Congress
to require OSHA to treat guidance
documents like rulemaking and
therefore follow those procedures.
I doubt that it will pass, but it sure
shows that there is plenty of concern about these “guidance” issues.
Aaron Trippler directs government affairs for more than 70 local sections and
serves as AIHA’s chief liaison with Congress and federal agencies. He can be
reached at (703) 846-0730 or atrippler@