House Subcommittee Passes Good-Faith OSHA Compliance Bills

July 24, 2003 ( - The US House of Representatives Workforce Protections Subcommittee has passed three bills aimed at rewarding small business good-faith efforts to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) health and safety regulations.

>Citing complex and difficult legal requirements surrounding the current OSHA compliance statutes, committee chairman Charles Norwood (R – Georgia) said in a news release that the newest proposals would give business, “particularly small businesses, new tools to defend against OSHA citations they believe are unjustified.” 

>Specifically, the trifecta of new proposals are tailored to remove “the arbitrary and unintentional ‘legal traps’ in current OSHA law that hamstrings better trust and voluntary cooperation between the agency and employers,” Norwood added in the release.

>The bills are:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Small Business Day in Court Act (H.R. 2728) – gives flexibility for granting exceptions to the current 15-day deadline for employers to file responses to OSHA citations when a small business misses in good-faith.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Efficiency Act (H.R. 2729) increases the membership of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) from three to five members for a more timely review of cases.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Independent Review of OSHA Citations Act (H.R. 2730) restores independent review of citations issued by OSHA by clarifying that the OSHRC is an independent judicial entity that is given deference by courts reviewing OSHA issues.