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Bill would reinstate Kentucky’s safety board

Kentucky OSHA

A partisan bill introduced in the Kentucky House on Tuesday would reinstate the currently disbanded Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

H.B. 322, which is sponsored by 39 democratic representatives, would reestablish the state’s safety board. The bill stipulates that the board would contain 12 members in the industry, labor, agriculture or safety and health profession who would serve three-year terms and be required to meet quarterly, as well as the secretary of the Labor Cabinet. 

In July 2018, Gov. Matthew Bevin issued an executive order abolishing the state’s OSHA board, noting in his order that the actions of the board had “essentially mirrored” those taken by the U.S. Department of Labor and stating that transferring the board’s power to the state’s secretary of the Labor Cabinet would help the state meet “the overarching goal of agency reorganization.”

The state’s attorney general has argued for the reinstatement of the board, and said in a statement that “(a)bolishing the Standards Board eviscerates the ability of the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program to keep Kentucky’s workers safe and healthy.”

The bill has been referred to the House Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee. Currently, Republicans control both houses and the governor’s office in the state.





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