September 23rd, 2005 08:03 EST
OSHA`s best intentions are not particularly, what is best for American workers. Some Republicans such as Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, (R-KS) in the House have been trying to pass legislation reforming the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA`s primary charter was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was signed by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970. OSHA`s mission is to ensure safe and healthful conditions in the workplace.
Democratic critics such as Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) see the legislation as a gift to big business. " However, it is also a gift to small business, to workers, as well as America as a whole.
The fact is that, OSHA still remains a fraud in the eyes of most of corporate America`s top businesses as pointed out by the analysts at the CATO Institute. Currently, there is no record of evidence that the agency has made any measurable impact on workers and workplace safety.
The reality of the situation is that workplaces started becoming safer and more urbanomically friendly long before OSHA`s creation and have subsequently continued to get safer. The rise in workplace safety can be attributed to such things as improve technology as well as a gradual change in the kinds of occupations Americans are moving toward. For example, there is more pencil lifting and less heavy lifting on the job than in times past. Another factor is that corporations fear the risk of lawsuits and hefty insurance premiums going up are among the business incentives to keep workers out of arms way, also noted in the CATO Institute`s report.
In the mean time, the Federal Governments tens of thousands of regulations, including OSHA`s, are costing the economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
Recently, some lawmakers have chimed into this debate to suggest the Government pay the Attorney bills when it takes a small business to court and loses. The fear is if that happened, the innocent but legally pestered business might actually have enough capital on hand to hire another person or two.
The Senate is unlikely to go along with the Houses zeal for a fear of a more robust economy. Senator Edward Kennedy is currently pushing a bill that would expand OSHA`s protections and increase its penalties. Senator Kennedy was quoted as saying, I hope for greater action to protect America`s workers from the responsible agencies in the future. "It appears that the Massachusetts Democrat himself is also a gift-giver. And his gift to America will be a bigger, more controlling Government or so the current administration would lead you to believe. This is sure to remain a hot topic in 2008.