House approves employer-friendly safety bills

Share this content:

The U.S. House of Representatives approved bills Tuesday on safety that may benefit employers. One bill may give employers leeway if they don't respond to safety citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within 15 days. The other will let companies recoup attorneys' fees if they contest and win citations issued by OSHA, according to the Associated Press.

The House also approved an increase in the size of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to five members from three, agreeing to give the commission more authority.

Proponents of the legislation say it will promote cooperation between OSHA and business and increase competitiveness for small firms. Democrats say the legislation will weaken worker protections.

Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA) proposed the set of bills. They will go up against significant challenges in the Senate, where Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is trying to increase OSHA's enforcement powers.