Magazine article Occupational Hazards

For OSHA, Home Is Where the Heat Is

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

For OSHA, Home Is Where the Heat Is

Article excerpt

Who said OSHA can't act quickly? The speed with which the agency reversed itself on its policy regarding regulation of work at home was nothing short of breathtaking.

As this month's "OSHA" column explains, the agency sent a letter to a Texas business stating that all employers, "including those which have entered into 'work at home' agreements with employees," are responsible for complying with OSHA safety and health standards.

When The Washington Post reported on the letter of interpretation Jan. 4, a storm of protest quickly arose from the business community and from House Republican leaders. The criticism focused on the alleged threat that the OSHA policy posed to telecommuting, a workplace phenomenon involving nearly 20 million workers. The International Telework Association & Council said the action could "cripple the development of telework," which it said had helped contribute to the current wave of American prosperity, while providing environmental benefits. …

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