A swell of grassroots enthusiasm has been embodied in the recently formed Protecting Workers Alliance (PWA). The national coalition to protect workers’ health and safety is sweeping the country and being embraced by organizations from coast to coast as it advances its supports efforts to make the workplace safer.
Since its formation in February, PWA has established a unified agenda and begun has advocating for administrative and legislative changes that will help create good jobs in a safe occupational environment.
PWA is advancing a strong national policy agenda:
1. Put worker health and safety first by making the Protecting Workers on the Job agenda a top priority of the President and Congress.
2. Ensure health and safety protection of all workers through tough enforcement of existing regulations, new worker protections, and research.
3. Count all occupational injuries and illnesses and increase funding for Federal and State-based public health tracking programs.
4. Increase worker participation in workplace safety and health programs and protect workers from retaliation.
5. Eliminate disparities in the high rates of deaths, injuries and illnesses among all workers.
6. Reform workers’ compensation programs to ensure appropriate and equitable remedies for the costs of occupational injuries and illnesses for all workers.
7. Reduce or eliminate widespread use of toxic chemicals to protect workers on the job and to safeguard the communities in which we all work and live.
The group’s legislative agenda includes supporting, among other legislation:
Protecting America's Workers Act: HR 2067 to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to expand coverage under the Act, to increase protections for whistleblowers, to increase penalties for certain violators, and for other purposes.
National Commission on State Workers' Compensation Laws Act of 2009 HR 635 Introduced by Rep. Joe Baca, D-CA, Jan. 21, 2009.
Corporate Injury, Illness, and Fatality Reporting Act of 2009: HR 2113. To require the Secretary of Labor to prescribe regulations requiring employers with more than one establishment and not fewer than 500 employees to report work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses.
HR 242: A bill directing OSHA to issue regulations requiring "site-controlling" employers to record all injuries that occur on their sites, including temporary and contract workers. Sponsored by Rep. Gene Greene, D-TX. Introduced Jan 7, 2009.
HR 849 Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2009. To require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust, and for other purposes.
The PWA steering committee is composed of wide spectrum of interests and causes from across the US who are all interested in creating a safer and healthier workplace. The PWA offers a newsletter service for those who wish to be kept up to date of the groups efforts.