House passes four bills to protect small businesses

The U.S. House of Representatives passed four bills that will lend a measure of protection to small businesses from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulators who use ambiguous rules to damage employers.

The legislation, backed by the Specialty Equipment Market Association, would provide small companies with a grace period beyond the 15-day deadline for responding to OSHA citations. The other bills would: increase the number of members on the OSHA Commission that reviews cases; defer interpretations of OSHA standards to the Review Commission rather than the OSHA administrator; and reimburse small businesses for their attorneys' fees if they successfully fight an OSHA ruling in court.

The U.S. Senate probably will consider the bills next year.

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