Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Kinney Forecasts a Scaled-Down OSHA

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Kinney Forecasts a Scaled-Down OSHA

Article excerpt

Federal OSHA may be "a mere shadow of itself" within the next couple of years, Joseph Kinney, executive director of the National Safe Workplace Institute, told Occupational Hazards.

"I think the program is going to be sucked out of Washington and into the hands of the states in the blink of an eye," Kinney said. The safety and health advocate said he neither opposes nor supports the idea, but is convinced that the states can do a good job enforcing standards, if Congress provides them with the authority and a moderate amount of funding. He said a smaller federal agency would probably still be needed to set uniform standards.

"The creative energy exists in our state capitals right now. It does not exist in Washington," said Kinney, who is based in Charlotte, N.C., and calls Washington, D.C., "Disneyland East" because he feels it is living in a fantasy world.

He said North Carolina's experience with reforming its state OSHA program in the wake of the Hamlet chicken processing plant fire in 1991 and state plans in other states like California, Michigan, Oregon and Washington indicate that states can operate effective safety and health programs. …

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