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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

A Comparison and Analysis of OSHA and Texas Workers' Compensation Reforms: Trending Toward Employer Involvement in Regulation or the Decline of Workplace Safety?

Reforms affecting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Texas Workers' Compensation system recently have similar characteristics and goals. Two of these goals seem contradictory: to reduce the command and control nature of workplace regulations and to improve the health and safety conditions at workplaces across the state and country. Reform efforts have been made by the Clinton administration, federal and state legislatures, agency staff, and the affected employers and employees. Federal OSHA exempts state OSHA plans from some oversight methods, but also guides and monitors their progress. Several of these state plans are able to integrate their workers' compensation systems into their state OSHA plans, thus collecting more accurate data and enabling them to better analyze and adapt to the unique needs of the workers in their state. Though Texas has no state OSHA Plan, conditions in the state have changed recently in legislative reorganization of the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission and associated agencies. This report investigates the potential benefits and disadvantages to the adoption of a state OSHA plan in Texas.

--Author's foreword.


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