House Panel Praises, Queries Safety Agencies
Critical questions about delays in OSHA rulemaking marred an otherwise friendly reception when the leaders of the federal government's three workplace safety and health agencies appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee on April 7.
Ostensibly, the hearing was about the administration's fiscal year 2006 budget request, but the subject of money never arose as Republican members of the panel praised OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for emphasizing education, compliance assistance and other business-friendly voluntary programs.
"We didn't get a lot of complaints about OSHA, so you must be doing something right," Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, told Acting OSHA Administrator Jonathan Snare, after Snare completed his testimony. Regula chairs the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.
"I think MSHA is doing a wonderful job," asserted Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., another subcommittee member. Sherwood praised the agency, and Acting Administrator David Dye, for working with employers and miners to improve safety by offering compliance assistance while "still getting the production out. …