ASSE drafts new legislation for U.S. Congress

Bill aims to change federal law to help improve U.S. oversight of workplace safety and health.

06/13/2011


The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) sent key U.S. Senate and House of Representative leaders draft legislation to address needed reforms in the federal occupational safety and health law to help improve U.S. workplace safety and health. ASSE’s first comprehensive draft reform legislation, the bill ASSE submitted is titled "Enhancing Occupational Safety and Health Protections in the 100th Year Act of 2011" and is intended to help improve OSHA and NIOSH capabilities and better encourage employer responsibility for worker safety and health.

“While the direct responsibility for saving lives and preventing injuries and illnesses in this nation’s workplaces rests with employers, we can all do a better job of helping them and encouraging them to meet that responsibility,” said ASSE President Darryl C. Hill, PhD, CSP, in letters to Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

“For the past 100 years ASSE’s member occupational safety, health and environmental professionals have worked day and night in all industries to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. They have seen results but at the same time know that more needs to and can be done,” Hill said.

Hill noted that this is an important time for the profession and ASSE. “That’s why, on this our 100th Anniversary, ASSE offers this draft legislation to build on what we have learned is missing in the way this nation oversees workplace safety and health. After 40 years of the OSH Act and other decisions made following its passage in 1970, workers should be able to rely on a thoughtful reexamination of that Act’s effectiveness, which we hope our draft legislation encourages.”

In his letters, Hill notes that the changes to the OSH Act ASSE offers are structural in nature, meant to help OSHA work better, be more effective in its outreach, and keep up with rapidly advancing knowledge about how to protect workers and workplaces.

“The same is true of our effort to relocate the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Health and Human Services,” Hill said. “Most of the ideas are those ASSE has championed over the years, and some are ideas we backed in the occupational safety and health reform debate over the last several years. You will find ideas offered by both Republicans and Democrats. If not on this 100th anniversary, which we also consider the beginning of a modern commitment to safe and healthy workplaces, when will be a better time to build on what we know can work to improve how our nation oversees occupational safety and health protections in our workplaces?”

ASSE’s bill contains provisions on coverage of public sector employees; updating permissable exposure limits; advancing a risk-based regulatory approach; encouraging collaborative rulemaking; enhanced definition of competent person; encouraging OSHA consideration of voluntary consensus standards; enabling OSHA to update standards with voluntary consensus standards; relocation of NIOSH within the Department of Health and Human Services; increased criminal penalties for those responsible for safety culture in an organization; encouraging employer risk assessment through third party consultations; encouraging risk assessment through safety and health audit privilege; codification of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP); and, expanded access to VPP for small businesses.

“Efforts of employers and our members, OSHA’s regulatory oversight, and the research and support for education that NIOSH directs have been highly successful. But no one believes workers are safe enough,” Hill said. “No one believes that we cannot do better. Let’s do better.”

 - Edited by Chris Vavra, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me