All of the bills were introduced in 2004 and passed the House of Representatives, but no action was taken in the Senate. â€œIâ€™m committed to moving these bills through the House as quickly as possible and remain hopeful the Senate will act on them as well,â€ Norwood said in a press statement about this yearâ€™s prospects.
The four bills are:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce likes what it sees in the bills, saying they would help protect small employers against frivolous OSHA citations without sacrificing health and safety protections for employees.
â€œThe measures are a good first step to give small businesses better ways to contest questionable citations, recoup fees and expedite the appeals process,â€ said Randel Johnson, Chamber vice president of labor policy.
Democrats not surprisingly, see it differently.
â€œThis administration has launched a persistent attack on workplace safety,â€ said Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., in a press release. â€œThis package of legislation will create an environment where OSHAâ€™s judgment is questioned and workersâ€™ safety and lives are jeopardized.â€
Wu added that the bills would allow employers to delay correcting life-threatening problems in the workplace and prolong workersâ€™ exposure to risk, while discouraging OSHA from taking employers to court over health and safety violations.