Rely on Occupational Safety & Health ReporterSM for full news coverage and documentation of federal and state workplace safety and health programs, standards, legislation,...
By Sam Pearson
Oct. 18 — Employers would have to maintain accurate records of worker injuries and illnesses under an OSHA proposed rule sent for White House review.
Under statute, the White House Office of Management and Budget is supposed to complete its review within 90 days. It received the rule Oct. 14, records show.
The proposal ( RIN:1218-AC84) would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations to clarify that the duty to keep accurate records of recordable injuries and illnesses doesn’t expire if an employer fails to create the records when first required to do so. Rather, the proposed rule states employers would have to maintain accurate records as long as required for the year in which the incident occurred.
That would clear the way for OSHA to cite employers who fail to keep records as long as five years after the fact, up from the current six months. Labor groups have called the change a simple technical correction to maintain OSHA’s enforcement authority, while business groups maintain the change is an end-run around a 2012 legal setback for the agency. The six months is the current statute of limitations from when the alleged violation occurs and when OSHA cites an employer for it.
OSHA pursued the rulemaking after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in April 2012 in a case known as Volks II that the agency was required to issue citations for record keeping violations within six months of when the employer fails to record the event AKM LLC v Sec’y of Labor , Volks II, D.C. Cir. App., No. 11-1106, 4/6/12 .
Peg Seminario, the health and safety director at the AFL-CIO union, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg BNA on Oct. 18 that the group would consider meeting with OMB about the proposal.
Seminario described the draft final rule as “a very straightforward and simple clarification of what has been the interpretation of OSHA injury recording requirements since the statute was enacted.”
If nothing is done, Seminario said, the D.C. Circuit ruling would make it impossible for OSHA to enforce recordkeeping requirements, even though Congress required OSHA to adopt these requirements.
Business groups have criticized the rulemaking as an inappropriate attempt to overturn the ruling.
In public comments filed in October 2015, Art Sapper, a former McDermott Will & Emery LLP attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the Volks II case, said OSHA should use the courts to challenge the ruling rather than acting through regulation.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Pearson in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposed rule is available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-29/pdf/2015-18003.pdf.
Copyright © 2016 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)