WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arthur Sapper, a partner in McDermott Will & Emery's Washington, D.C. office, testified as an expert witness before the United States House of Representative's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 17, 2003. Mr. Sapper, appeared at the hearing, "H.R. 1583 - Assessing The Impact On Small Business," on behalf for United States Chamber of Commerce. He urged the Subcommittee to report favorably H.R. 1583, the Occupational Safety and Health Fairness Act of 2003.
H.R. 1583 would make it easier for employers, and especially small employers, to deal with enforcement actions brought by OSHA. The bill has attracted wide support in the business community, including from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
As Mr. Sapper explained in his testimony, "The burden of OSHA enforcement falls with special weight upon [small- and medium-size companies]." He described the expense smaller companies must incur to defend themselves against OSHA charges, and their other practical difficulties in doing so.
"H.R. 1583 is a moderate and limited bill. It is narrowly targeted at some of the worse problems with OSHA enforcement. It does not affect OSHA's rulemaking authority. It does not affect OSHA's inspection authority. It does not take away any power that Congress in 1970 intended that OSHA have," testified Mr. Sapper. "Yet, it will make important improvements in the OSH Act, for it will enhance public respect for the fairness of OSHA enforcement, which is essential if the Act is to be effective."