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Press Release: Obama Administration Courts Business Interests at Workers’ Expense

 
National Council for
Occupational Safety and Health
Leading the fight for safe and healthy workplaces
 
 
For Immediate Release: January 28, 2011
 
For more information, contact:
Frank Gallagher
Tel: (207) 671-1768
effjaygallagher@gmail.com
                                                                                   
 
Obama Administration Courts Business Interests at Workers’ Expense
 
 OSHA Decision to Withdraw Back-Injury Reporting Requirement the Latest Incident in a Pattern of Increasing Disregard for Workplace Safety from the Obama Administration
 
January 28, 2011 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Occupational health and safety advocates today criticized the administration of President Barack Obama for a growing willingness to dismantle workplace safety rules in an effort to court political favor with business interests.
 
“This decision, coming as it does just days after the Obama administration backed off on a rule that would have required employers to protect workers from debilitating noise on the job, indicates that the President seems to be all too willing to negotiate away the health and well-being of American workers if it helps him get re-elected next year. That is extraordinarily disappointing,” Tom O’Connor, the Executive Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, said.
 
O’Connor made his comments after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it would withdraw a requirement that employers who are already required to keep a record of workplace injuries check a separate box to indicate a musculoskeletal injury.
 
The rule, O’Connor said, would not have changed any of the reporting requirements nor would it have imposed any new requirements on businesses that are currently exempt from the OSHA regulation.
 
Last week, OSHA withdrew a rule that would have required employers to provide adequate protection to workers threatened by debilitating noise on the job. Just days before that decision, the president issued an executive order characterizing the current regulatory environment as overly burdensome and calling for greater input from businesses on rulemaking.
 
“We are troubled, to say the least, by these developments,” O’Connor said. “Economic growth should not occur at the expense of the men and women who are working hard to pay the bills and support their families. The fact is, job creation and workplace safety are not mutually exclusive; they are two sides of the same coin. American men and women should not have to give their lives to earn a living.”
 
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is a federation of local and statewide organizations; a private, non-profit coalition of labor unions, health and technical professionals, and others interested in promoting and advocating for worker health and safety. 
 
To learn more about the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, go to: http://www.coshnetwork.org/.
 
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