General election set for Obama vs. Romney

With President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney focusing more and more of their attacks on one another, the primary election season is essentially over and the general election has begun. But what role will workplace safety have in this race?

While occupational safety can’t be expected to play a large role in the election (there are bigger fish to fry, considering the state of the economy and ongoing wars), I do think it could come up during debates on regulation.

Under Obama, OSHA has been vocal about being tougher on employers who shirk their workplace safety obligations, and the agency has pursued more regulatory action than the previous administration. All of this is done to protect the worker (.pdf file), the Obama administration says, and it doesn’t hurt the economy.

Romney pushes the now-familiar narrative that runs counter to Obama’s claims: government regulation is killing the economy and job growth. Any regulation OSHA is pursuing would contribute to that, he might argue.

I’ll be waiting to see how this plays out in the next six months, and how big of a role occupational safety and health may have in the overall narrative in this contest.

But what do you think? What role do you think workplace safety and regulations will have in the November election?

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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