Shimkus opposes OSHA safety rule
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) joined 39 other members of Congress Monday in asking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to rescind its recent reinterpretation of a policy dictating how companies handle hazardous waste.
After meeting with fertilizer and chemical provider Effingham Equity, Shimkus said the Process Safety Management (PSM) rules present an unfair obstacle to smaller companies.
“Everyone supports safety, but these local facilities are already regulated by not only OSHA, but the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security,” Shimkus said. “Holding these facilities to the same requirements as major chemical plants within six months is unrealistic. I’ve asked OSHA to roll back their decision and work with the industry to find a way to ensure safety without threatening our local agricultural businesses.”
OSHA issued its revised PSM policy in July to cover additional classes of businesses that had previously been exempt from those particular rules. According to an OSHA briefing issued on October 20 and published on the agency's website, companies have one year to come into compliance, not six months as was originally proposed. The agency has pledged several types of assistance during that grace period, including on-site consultations with newly affected businesses.