Occupational Safety and Health Small Business Day in Court Act of 2004 -- (House of Representatives - May 18, 2004)
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Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2728 and also refer to the other three bills, H.R. 2729, 2730, and 2731.
Mr. Speaker, OSHA came into being to protect the worker and give that protection with the force of the Federal Government because in so many instances the employer was not protecting these workers. These bills individually and collectively will weaken that protection.
I can recall the days before OSHA, the lack of protection, the lack of sometimes even a concern among many employers about the safety of their workers. My father was almost killed in plant because he was being pulled into the machine and was unable to control his own machine. He could not control the power for their own machine. And he had to keep shouting down the line to turn off the power. And that is how things were before OSHA.
In my State about 8 or 9 years ago, a young lady trying to pull herself out of poverty took a job in a small plant. She was working on a press. She put her hands in to remove the product and the press came down. It did not amputate her hands. It obliterated, disintegrated her hands. Failure to abate can lead to such tragedies. And there was certainly failure to abate in that plant. Most of the workers knew that that machine had difficulties; but she was allowed to work on that machine which destroyed, obliterated, disintegrated her hands.
We have so many values in our life but she, in talking to us, held out her arms and was telling the great loss she had suffered. This is what we have to be concerned about.
"Among my losses," she said, "I will never be able to pet my kitten again." These are real people. This was a woman who sought a job at very low wages and had her hands destroyed. Let us think of those people. Give them some relief.
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