According to the Labor Department, small businesses don't have access to resources such as consultants and attorneys to help deal with compliance issues forced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Because of the lack of services, about 90 percent of small companies hit with OSHA fines settled or paid the fines without contesting them, based on the latest available data.

A recent article in BusinessWeek reports that small businesses may soon see relief, thanks to four different bills passed by the House of Representatives. The bills would allow companies with fewer than 100 employees and a net worth of less than $7 million to recoup attorneys' fees after a successful appeal. They would also grant leniency to businesses that can come up with a plausible reason for not meeting the 15-day deadline for filing an appeal. Finally, they would expedite the case review process and strengthen the independence of the review commission that hears appeals.

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