Since September 11, legislation important to occupational health and safety has taken a back seat, as hundreds of bills have been introduced in Congress that pertain to events surrounding the terrorist attack and ways to address national security.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) had hoped that several bills would have made their way out of Congress by now. One would have codified the Voluntary Protection Program. There seems to be very little opposition to this bill, but it remains held up in Committee.

Another bill is a small business bill that contained AIHA amendments that would have provided for qualified and competent individuals to conduct small business seminars on how to comply with federal regulatory requirements such as OSHA. This bill has passed the House and awaits Committee action in the Senate.

Several members of Congress and others are asking tough questions regarding the new Office of Homeland Security, specifically why OSHA is not included as one of the federal agencies that participates in this office.