by William Lilley on September 22, 1976
by William Lilley

The Council on Wage and Price Stability has called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reevaluate its proposed methods of dealing with the issue of noise in the workplace. In testimony to be presented at a public hearing but filed with OSHA today, the Council stated that promulgating the proposed standards would be inflationary since there is every reason to believe that alternative approaches would accomplish the same objectives at significantly lower costs. Commenting on the Council’s forthcoming presentation, Acting Director William Lilley III stated: “While the Council certainly supports the goal of improved worker health, it is important that any regulations be made noninflationary by designing them to be as efficient and as effective as possible.”

Lilley went on to note that “the Council is very concerned that these regulations, by dictating the methods companies must use to protect workers and by mandating uniform standards and solutions on every company in every part of the country, will unnecessarily impose costs on the economy which far exeed the benefits which might result. As we have seen many times before, as a standard becomes progressively more stringent, the costs of meeting each new step up the ladder become greater and greater than the cost of achieving the previous level, while at the same time the worker benefits less and less by each incremental step. Moreover, the costs of achieving minor improvements in noise exposure by the methods favored by OSHA would vary greatly from industry to industry, while the benefits to the workers would not vary accordingly; regulations which do not make allowances for such variations are, simply put, arbitrary and needlessly punitive.”

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