OSHA Drops Proposal Harmful to Small Contractors

Washington, D.C., May 13--The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has withdrawn a proposal that would have cost small contractors time and money. The OSHRC proposal would have limited practice before the Commission to only attorneys, in-house expertise or affected employees. "AGC is pleased that the proposal to restrict non-attorneys from practicing before the Commission has been removed from further consideration by OSHRC," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "These firms would have had no alternative except to hire outside legal counsel and bear that enormous cost, or simply surrender their rights." AGC commented to OSHRC on both the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on July 19, 2004 and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 4, 2005 about the adverse impact to small contractors that such a proposal would generate. In its written comments, AGC’s COO David Lukens stated "AGC would expect a restriction on representation to harm the many small businesses that lack the in-house expertise to represent themselves effectively." The Final Rule was published by OSHRC in the May 3, 2005 Federal Register and contains other procedural rule revisions governing practice before the Commission that would improve the overall process. AGC’s written comments and a link to the Final Rule notice are available on the AGC Web site at www.agc.org/safety. The Final Rule will take effect on August 1, 2005 for all cases that are docketed on or after that date and will also apply to any further proceedings on cases that were pending prior to that date. OSHRC is an independent federal agency that serves as a court system when employers or employees challenge citations issued by OSHA.

Related Topics:The International Surface Event (TISE), Associated General Contractors of America