The fact that the top job at OSHA remains unfilled has not deterred house Democrats from seeking to amend the act that establishes job safety laws in the U.S.
Democrats on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce have reintroduced the Protecting America’s Workers Act, legislation they say would strengthen and modernize the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970. Similar legislation has been proposed in the past but has not been successful.
The measure was introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut during the week marked by the seven-year anniversary of the 2010 Kleen Energy Plant explosion in Middletown, Connecticut. Six workers were killed and dozens more were injured in that catastrophe. Courtney said that incidents like Middletown and a deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion in 2013 demonstrate that “…the benefits of ensuring a safe and healthy workplace are not just confined to the facility’s property—local communities also have a major stake in the safety of these workplaces.”
Supporters say the proposed bill would give OSHA the tools to ensure that employers promptly correct hazardous working conditions, protect workers from retaliation when they blow the whistle on unsafe working conditions, and hold employers accountable for violations that cause death or serious injury to workers.
The Protecting America’s Workers Act would:
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