Did you know that OSHA is mentioned in both the Democratic and Republican national platforms? There’s a lot of disagreement about how to handle the agency, but there’s one thing both parties appear to agree on, too.
You’ll find the first clue on the differences between the two parties on the role OSHA would take by noticing which section of each platform mentions the federal safety agency.
For the Republicans, OSHA comes under “Regulatory Reform: The Key to Economic Growth.”
It’s under “Standing Up for Workers” for the Democrats.
“Regulations must be drafted and implemented to balance legitimate public safety or consumer protection goals and job creation,” the GOP document states. “Constructive regulation should be a helpful guide, not a punitive threat.”
OSHA’s current regulatory agenda is “overreaching,” according to the party of Mitt Romney, and Republicans in the White House and Congress would “rein in” the agency.
Not only would the Republicans rein in OSHA, they would create “a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules.”
Democrats say that, under their watch, OSHA would “continue to adopt and enforce comprehensive safety standards.”
What new OSHA rules might be enacted in a second term for President Obama? A new permissible exposure level for silica has been in the works for years. OSHA administrator David Michaels says requiring companies to have their own Injury and Illness Prevention Programs is a top priority for him.
The Democratic party platform also calls for a “fight against the exploitative practice of employers fraudulently misclassifying workers as independent contractors.” One reason some businesses do that is to limit their workers’ compensation insurance premiums, which creates an unfair business advantage when those companies bid for work against employers that do have the required amount of comp coverage.
They actually agree on something?
Yes, the Rs and Ds do actually share one statement pertaining to OSHA in their platforms.
According to the Republicans, rules should “have a sound basis in science.”
The Democrats agree, noting, “regulations should be based on sound science.”
What do you think of the parties’ platform statements regarding OSHA and business regulations? What is the best thing the federal government can do for businesses and workers? Let us know what you think in the comments below.