Biden promises to back US worker safety
This article by Tina Weadick is reproduced courtesy of Health & Safety Review
The newly elected president of the United States, Joe Biden, has pledged to “work every day” to uphold the mission of the country’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Mr Biden’s remarks were delivered on 29th December, to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing into force of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the then president, Richard Nixon.
Pointing out that OSHA has protected workers responding to the likes of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Mr Biden lamented the fact that “in the midst of a global pandemic, [it] has been prevented from using its full range of tools to protect workers from Covid-19”.
He continued: “As [essential workers] risk their lives to save others in this pandemic, they should not have to lie awake at night wondering if they’ll make it home from work safely the next day, or if they’ll bring home the virus to their loved ones”.
Mr Biden promised his administration would ask OSHA to determine whether to establish an emergency temporary standard to keep workers safe from Covid-19 and that he would ask it “to enforce worker safety requirements, target the worst violators and work to increase the number of OSHA inspectors to get the job done”.
Richard Trumka, president of the union body AFL-CIO, said: “We look forward to working with the new administration to strengthen job safety protections and enforcement, rebuild safety agencies and prevent worker deaths, injuries and disease.”
Article by TINA WEADICK_______________________________________
This article is reproduced courtesy of Health & Safety Review.
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