Michaels: OSHA regulations make industries safer, more productive

March 30, 2011

New Orleans – Using some of his strongest language to date, OSHA administrator David Michaels recently asserted that his agency saves lives and helps businesses.

In recent months, critics opposing the administration’s regulatory agenda have argued that proposed OSHA initiatives will harm the economy and hinder job growth. Appearing via videoconference on March 15 before the American Bar Association’s Occupational Safety and Health Law Committee in New Orleans, Michaels said OSHA regulations lead to a more productive nation by preventing worker injuries and illnesses, and driving business modernization and innovation.

“OSHA isn’t the enemy of business. We all want to see our workplaces succeed,” he said. “What good is an injured, sick or dead worker to an employer?”

Responding to suggestions that OSHA’s agenda is too aggressive, Michaels said the agency has issued only two new standards in the past 10 years, and any new regulation comes after several years of research to ensure its feasibility and cost-effectiveness.

Noting the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Michaels said the act has ensured “our workplaces and our nation are more efficient, more productive and more humane.”