Ranking Member Scott Praises Biden Proposal to Ensure Workers Have a Voice in Workplace Health and Safety

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to the Department of Labor regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule to strengthen employees’ voice in ensuring the health and safety of their workplace. 

The proposal clarifies that workers may authorize a third party, including a union representative, to join an OSHA walkaround health inspection when an inspector deems that they are reasonably necessary and would aid the inspection.

“I support OSHA’s plan to clarify in regulation workers’ rights to select a third party from the community rather than a fellow employee to serve as their representative,” Ranking Member Scott wrote. “I applaud OSHA’s vision of expanding its instruction to the OSHA inspectorate about the potential positive contributions to an inspection from third-party worker representatives.”

While praising the proposed rule as a step in the right direction, Ranking Member Scott also urged OSHA to further strengthen workers’ representation in health inspections by accepting a worker-designated representative by default, rather than subject the representative’s participation in an inspection to OSHA approval.

“OSHA has wisely recognized in the Proposed Rule that it should advise its inspectorate to recognize the value that a third party put forward as the workers’ walkaround representative can add to an inspection…[However] OSHA should more boldly rewrite the Proposed Rule to accept workers’ choice of representative by default and maximize workers’ rights to representation of their own choosing throughout the inspection, enforcement, and contest processes,” Ranking Member Scott continued.

Read the full text of the letter here.


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