House Resolution Seeks to Kill OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

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By Bruce Rolfsen

A House resolution using the Congressional Review Act is seeking to kill OSHA’s new recordkeeping rule, which allows the agency to cite employers for violations up to five years old.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, introduced the resolution ( H.J. Res. 83) Feb. 21.The resolution seeks to use the CRA to cancel the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s rule (RIN:1218-AC84) extending from six months to five years the window for citing violations of OSHA’s requirements for recording injuries and illnesses in federally mandated logs.

Byrne called the rule an “unlawful power grab” in a Feb. 21 statement.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded in 2012 that OSHA couldn’t cite employers for failing to record on-the-job injuries or illnesses if the violation took place more than six months before the citation was issued. In reaction to the court decision, commonly called Volks II, OSHA issued the rule Dec. 16. Employers protested from that the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibited OSHA from citing violations older than six months and that the agency should have sought to change the law, rather than issue a rule.

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