Anti-Regulatory Rhetoric Ignores Regulations' Benefits: Public Citizen

Justin Feldman and Taylor Lincoln of the organization's Congress Watch division cite five OSHA and MSHA rules as proving that safety and health regulations often cost less and yield more than opponents feared.

A new report from Public Citizen answers the anti-regulatory rhetoric heard from some members of Congress this year as they have introduced measures to delay new regulations for years or, possibly, indefinitely. To make their case, Justin Feldman and Taylor Lincoln of the organization's Congress Watch division cite five OSHA and MSHA rules in their "Regulations at Work: Five Rules that Save Workers' Lives and Protect their Health" report as proving that safety and health regulations often cost less and yield more than opponents initially feared.

First on their list is OSHA's cotton dust standard, enacted in 1978 to reduce byssinosis, or brown lung disease. It was an unqualified success: OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels observed early this year that the standard "drove down rates of brown lung disease among textile workers from 12 percent to 1 percent."

Other standards cited in the report are OSHA's lockout/tagout standard, issued in 1989; OSHA's excavation standard that mandates protection against trench collapses; OSHA's grain handling facilities standard; and the Federal Mine Health and Safety Act, passed in 1969 and setting the stage for the Mine Safety and Health Act that created MSHA in 1977.

"Amid the current barrage of anti-regulatory rhetoric, it is crucial to remember the important role that government safeguards have in saving lives and protecting public health," Feldman and Lincoln write in their conclusion. "These five worker safety regulations were tremendously successful in reducing employee injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. For the most part, industry groups initially opposed each regulation while downplaying the hazard in question. Often, they later came to embrace the regulations, writing supportive comments to government agencies in several cases."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus