Congressman aims to curb willful violations
The bill, sponsored by the subcommittee's chair, Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), is cosponsored by all the Republicans on the subcommittee, which suggests that it is likely to pass in the House of Representatives, according to observers.
Called the "Occupational Safety and Health Fairness Act" (H.R. 1583), the bill:
According to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, the thrust of all the amendments proposed by Norwood would be to make it significantly more difficult for OSHA to cite an employer, and collect a substantial fine, than it is now. The ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, Major Owens (D-NY), objects strongly to the Norwood bill.
"The Republicans are continuing to try to gut the OSHA law and regulations as much as possible," says Owens. "Their strategy is to depict OSHA as the oppressor of the private sector. This is the propaganda they have been pushing since they took control of the House in 1994."
Owens added that he expects the bill to "sail through" the Republican-dominated subcommittee and the full Committee on Education and the Workforce, according to NYCOSH.