October 31, 2011
A proposed rule to change reporting requirements by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) will increase the burden on America’s workforce and divert resources from programs that actually improve health and safety, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) told the agency in comments filed Oct. 28.
ARTBA challenged the reasoning of increasing the regulatory reporting burden on America’s work force at a time, the organization says, “when overall death and injury rates are falling.”
The association also questioned whether OSHA is prepared to receive the additional information stream generated by the proposed changes. ARTBA says it believes the increase in paperwork — particularly for newly regulated sectors with low injury rates — will “dilute OSHA’s ability to quickly target trouble spots and will channel limited resources away from programs that actually improve health and safety.”
Among other things, the proposed changes would require all work-related, in-patient hospitalizations to be reported to OSHA within eight hours of an incident. In an emergency, the employer’s primary focus should be seeking medical attention for the employee and removing hazardous situations that could lead to additional injuries — not filing paper work, ARTBA said.
ARTBA also noted the proposed increased reporting requirements contradict the Obama Administration’s recent call for federal agencies to minimize the cost and cumulative impact of regulations and give special consideration to small business concerns. (Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and associated memoranda issued by President Obama in January, 2011.)