Rely on Occupational Safety & Health ReporterSM for full news coverage and documentation of federal and state workplace safety and health programs, standards, legislation,...
The House voted along party lines 231-191 March 1 to repeal an OSHA rule that made it easier for the agency to cite employers for not recording on-the-job injuries and illnesses.
The rule extends the window for Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors to cite employers for recordkeeping violations to five years. The prior limit was six months.
During the debate leading up to the vote, the resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), called the rule “an outrageous power grab” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Defending the rule, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said the regulation helped prevent employers from underreporting workplace injuries to keep their workers’ compensation insurance costs low, stay eligible for government contracts and lower the likelihood of OSHA inspections.Despite the vote, the recordkeeping rule remains in effect. It will be enforced until the Senate passes a companion resolution and President Donald Trump signs the joint resolution.
There is no guarantee the Senate will take action before Congress’s opportunity to cancel the rule expires, likely in the late spring. Of the 13 resolutions the House has approved to overturn rules issued in the last six months of the Obama administration, the Senate has voted on three, passing all. OSHA issued the rule (RIN:1218-AC84) on Dec. 16, leaving it well within the window to be vulnerable to repeal under the provisions of the Congressional Review Act.
The resolution moved swiftly through the House, reaching a floor vote nine days after it was introduced by Byrne, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.
The rule’s intent was to circumvent a court decision restricting OSHA’s ability to cite recordkeeping violations up to five years old.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.The unanimous decision said the Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibited the agency from citing violations older than six months.OSHA didn’t appeal the decision. Instead, they issued the rule.The rule says a recordkeeping error can be cited for up to five years after the mistake was made because the employer continued to not correct its injury and illness logs. The five-year limit was based on the agency’s requirement that employers keep their OSHA form 300 logs for at least five years.Employer groups said OSHA should have asked Congress to change the law, rather than issue a rule. The groups also said it wasn’t realistic to expect an employer to be able to explain years after the fact, why an injury wasn’t correctly recorded.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Rolfsen in Washington at BRolfsen@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)