WICHITA — Owners of small home-construction businesses say theyre watching their livelihoods collapse under safety regulations they feel are more about punishing them than protecting their workers.
They have not been making a safer workplace, but they are killing businesses, and theyre financially killing families, said Greg Herndon, who operates a local roofing company.
Last year, the Department of Labor decided to ramp up enforcement of regulations aimed at reducing serious accidents and deaths, mainly from workers falling. But those who work on residential construction sites say the new fines 10 times higher in some cases are tearing away at their profits, even in cases where there are no injuries.
Its an issue that has reached across the country, said Wess Galyon, president of the Wichita Area Builders Association. Later this month, Galyon said, the National Association of Home Builders will consider a resolution to ask Congress to pass sweeping reforms of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
We are going to begin a very intense initiative in every state to pressure OSHA to consult more and punish less, Galyon said.
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