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Smart Companies Get that Safety Regulation is Good for Business

Trade Association Supports Innovative OSHA Regulation

Tree care can be a dangerous job – workers attach ropes to branches and climb as high as 50 feet with a chainsaw in hand. As senior safety advisor for the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), Peter Gertsenberger is responsible for protecting the lives of thousands of workers in one of America’s most dangerous industries. He knows that government plays a vital role in keeping his workers safe.

At today’s House Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing, Gertsenberger announced his industry’s support for OSHA’s proposed Illness and Injury Prevention Program. The program, referred to as I2P2, would require every business to develop a workplace hazard identification and remediation program.

The trade association’s support underscores the point that OSHA can’t do its job alone: its inspectors reach only a small percentage of U.S. workplaces each year. I2P2 would offer businesses and their employees a stronger role in health and safety improvement efforts. And smart businesses are eager to get involved, because they understand the key role these regulations play in protecting their workers’ lives.

Responding to a question about the program posed by subcommittee chairman Tim Wahlberg (R-Mich.), Gertsenberger stated, “We embrace I2P2.” He went on to explain that his association would support the proposal as long as it allows them to adapt the regulation to the requirements of their particular business. He saw California, which has adopted I2P2 on the state level, as a positive example: “The California program is not bad. It’s caused no problems for industry.”

TCIA has long been a champion of worker protections. They helped create a set of industry standards for arborist safety and later worked with Virginia’s state OSHA to develop a regulation based on the standards.

Unlike big business groups that reject government oversight on ideological grounds, TCIA knows that worker protections don’t just save lives – they’re also good for their bottom line.