OSHA Reform Bill Would Protect Flight Attendants and Government Workers

A sweeping OSHA reform bill introduced April 26 aims to expand federal safety laws to cover millions of additional workers.

Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-MA, and Patty Murray, D-WA, introduced S.1244 the Protecting America’s Workers Act in conjunction with a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing that examined federal health and safety laws and OSHA enforcement. Kennedy said the bill would expand OSHA coverage to an additional 8.6 million Americans, including flight attendants, state correctional officers and workers in government agencies; beef up OSHA enforcement efforts; and protect workers who speak up about unsafe conditions on the job.

Reps. Lynn Woosley, D-CA, and Phil Hare, D-IL, introduced identical legislation in the House. Woosley said OSHA “has fallen down on its job,” and that the bill would ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all workers. The bill also would make some employers liable for felony charges in the event of a worker’s death or serious injury.