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What Does the Election Have to Do with OSHA at Your Facility?

We're on the road to choosing a new American president. Currently the race appears wide open in both the Republican and Democratic parties. But one thing is certain: the outcome, whatever it is, will affect OSHA's oversight of medical and dental facilities. Under President Bush, OSHA activity has been lower than past years. Regulatory action has been slow and reversal of previous worker safety protections ensued.

Democrats committed to change OSHA

All three major Democratic hopefuls, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama and John Edwards, have committed to passing a new version of the rescinded ergonomics rule. "As president," I will make the [proposed ergonomics act] law," says Edwards. "George Bush's voluntary guidelines have left workers exposed."

Many Democrats also support the Protecting America's Workers Act, which expands OSHA penalties for violators, and increases protection for whistleblowers. Their win would likely also result in a major restructuring of OSHA leadership.

In fact, Senator Menendez [D-NJ] introduced the "Worker Infection Protection Act" on December 19, 2007. This legislation, cosponsored by Senators Durbin [D-IL] and Kennedy [D-MA], would direct the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services to jointly develop and issue workplace standards, recommendations, and plans to protect healthcare workers and other from infectious diseases such as MRSA and flu. Click here for more.

Republicans may accelerate rulemaking

Meanwhile, the current administration is hurrying to finalize less strict safety regulations, and as the year progresses, rulemaking may be dramatically accelerated. And come January 20, 2009, all bets are off. You can rely on Quality America's OSHAlerts e-news every two weeks to keep you abreast of these developments!

Posted by Quality America on January 22, 2008 | Comments (0)


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