AG Beshear Calls for Reinstatement of Safety Board

Aug 1, 2018

Credit Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky’s attorney general is calling on Governor Matt Bevin to rescind his executive order abolishing a board that protects the health and safety of workers. 

Governor Bevin’s July 17 executive action abolished the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board which is responsible for workplace safety regulations.  The independent panel is made up of 12 members who represent industry, labor, agriculture, and safety and health professions. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear says abolishing the board removes the expertise of the members and transfers it to a single individual, the Labor Secretary, who is an at-will employee of the governor. 

The board abolishment further contradicts the Kentucky State Plan that lawmakers adopted and the U.S. Department of Labor approved.

“This plan specifically includes the creation of the Standards Board,” Beshear said.

In a letter to state lawmakers, Beshear asks them to demand that Bevin reinstate the board.  Lawmakers rejected a measure during this year’s legislative session to abolish the panel. 

In his executive order, the governor stated the regulations adopted by the board have essentially mirrored actions taken by the U.S. Department of Labor.  Bevin said the state's Labor Secretary, who chairs the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, already has the authority to adopt federal standards without approval from the OSH board.

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