On Safety

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The cost of regulations

March 20, 2015

Will OSHA’s proposed rule on silica cripple the foundry industry?

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) seemed to suggest as much during a March 17 House subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget for the Department of Labor.

“What’s left of the existing foundries in this country are very much at risk right now, and we may lose that capacity altogether,” Dent said during questioning of Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez on OSHA’s rule.

The congressman called OSHA’s silica proposal technologically and economically infeasible. His statements follow similar warnings from other Republicans and business interest groups. It’s a familiar narrative by now, one OSHA administrator David Michaels has refuted more than once by pointing out how past claims of safety regulations destroying jobs or industries never came to fruition.

Will complying with new regulations come with a cost? Certainly. But the cost of not complying seems far greater.

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

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