OSHA Employee Goals Limited

OSHA Employee Goals Limited

The House Education and the Workforce Committee on Wednesday cleared legislation designed to ensure that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not use data on the results of enforcement activities to measure OSHA employee performance, LEGI-SLATE News Service reported.

The bill, sponsored by Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chairman Cass Ballenger, R- N.C., would amend 1970 OSHA law to prohibit OSHA officials from using the number of citations issued, penalties assessed or inspections conducted to evaluate employees directly involved in enforcement activities.

The bill, which passed the committee by unanimous voice vote and has the Clinton administration's support, also would prevent OSHA from imposing quotas or goals for enforcement activity results.

Ballenger argued that even though OSHA has changed its official policy to specifically state that performance will be measured by success in making safety and health improvements, and not by citations, penalties or quotas, it is important to put that change into law.

Before agreeing to the legislation, the committee first passed, by voice vote, a substitute by Chairman Goodling which Democrats had said was necessary to limit the bill to "very specific and concise issues." Subcommittee ranking member Major Owens, D-N.Y., said the original version of the bill could have been misinterpreted to unnecessarily "interfere with OSHA's ability to manage its own employees."

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