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House Democrats Introduce Bill to Reform OSHA

House Democrats, led by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, re-introduced today the Protecting Americas Workers Act. The bill contains many provisions recommended by the National COSH and allies in the Protecting Workers Alliance's policy platform entitled Protecting Workers on the Job: Seven Priorities for Federal Action in 2009."

Among other provisions, the bill would:

  • Apply federal safety standards to workers who are not currently covered, including federal, state, and local employees, and some private sector employees;
  • Protect workers who blow the whistle on unsafe workplace conditions;
  • Increase penalties against employers for repeated and willful violations of the law, including making felony charges available when an employer's repeated and willful violation of the law leads to a worker's death or serious injury;
  • Give workers and their families the right to challenge reduction of fines and other penalties.

To read the full text of the bill, click on the link entitled "PAWA 2009" below.

To see what is different in this bill from the 2007 Protecting America's Workers Act, click on the document entitled "Changes..." below.