Murray reintroduces PAWA in the Senate

June 15, 2011

Washington – Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) recently reintroduced legislation intended to improve the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Speaking June 9 on the Senate floor, Murray said the Protecting America’s Workers Act (S. 1166) would provide needed updates to the 40-year-old OSH law.

“Businesses have become more complex, workers are performing 21st-century tasks, but the government is still using a 1970 approach to regulations to protect employees,” Murray said. “This doesn’t make sense, and it needs to change.”

The bill would increase whistleblower protections; expand victim rights; and make improvements to the reporting, inspection and enforcement of occupational safety violations, Murray said.

In the last several congressional sessions, PAWA was introduced in the Senate by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), but failed to become law. This past January, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a version of PAWA in the House. Also in January, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act (S. 153), which would make several similar changes to the OSH Act.