Chamber of Commerce mocks worker safety system, despite endorsement by major Chamber members and Nat

April 11, 2012

The US Chamber of Commerce had a quaint little game on its website last month, complete with a YouTube video with fake sportscasters. The PR campaign called “Regulatory Madness” keyed off the annual NCAA’s basketball tournament we know as March Madness. The cutesy idea was for business people to use the Chamber’s pick of the 16 most “maddening” Obama Administration regulations, and fill in brackets to ultimately chose the most “maddening” one of all. They called it their “not-so-pretty Sweet Sixteen.”

Their “top picks” included financial, health care and environmental regulations, such as the Volcker rule and EPA’s boiler rule. The Chamber’s “Labor Region” included three NLRB rules, and an OSHA initiative that has not yet even been proposed by the Agency. What OSHA has been discussing with stakeholders is the simple notion that employers should have a program to find and fix workplace hazards so employees don’t get hurt. It’s called a workplace injury and illness prevention program, sometimes referred to as I2P2.

The OSHA rule didn’t “win” as the most maddening rule in the Chamber’s little game, but it’s curious that they even included it on their list of 16. Members of the Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, including Pfizer, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical and 3M, have worksite health and safety programs like the ones OSHA is discussing.

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