Costello: don’t change the labor rules

December 26, 2013

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello voiced opposition to rules the Department of Labor is proposing to change regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s workplace reporting.

Proposed rule changes will require large companies to file injury and illness reports electronically each quarter to a special web site so they can be posted online and made available to the public.

Costello said, “The experimental idea of OSHA using ‘naming and shaming’ as a means to improve safety is unwise.

“This proposed regulation is a federal government overreach that will invite distortion of a company’s safety record and encourage unions, trial lawyers, and other adversaries of the marketplace to use the data against the backbone of the economy, American businesses.  The proposed use of data does not tell the full story about the circumstances surrounding an injury and efforts to prevent such injury by the business owner.

“As Commissioner of Labor, duly elected by the citizens of Oklahoma, I have a lawful obligation to speak out for the economic well-being of the taxpayer’s of this great state.”

Costello concluded his letter with a request that the Secretary of Labor “stand-down on this proposal.”