Search form

House of Representatives Votes to Block OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

By Carla J. Gunnin
  • March 15, 2017

The House of Representatives has voted to block a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordkeeping rule implemented in the last weeks of the Obama Administration. “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness” was published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2016, and became effective on January 18, 2017.

OSHA issued the rule in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Secretary of Labor. (For details, see our article, OSHA Recordkeeping Violations Subject to Six-Month Limitations; Continuing Violation Theory Rejected.) The Court held that because of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s six-month statute of limitations, OSHA could not cite an employer for failing to record an injury or illness when the obligation to record that injury or illness exceeded the limitation period.

Despite this holding, OSHA engaged in rulemaking to overturn the decision, attempting to “clarify” through added language in the regulatory text that employers have a continuing obligation to record injuries and illnesses. This includes, in OSHA’s view, a requirement for employers to record injuries and illnesses even if they failed to initially comply with an OSHA recordkeeping requirement at the time the injuries or illnesses occurred.

On February 21, 2017, House Republican lawmakers introduced H.J. Res. 83 to repeal the rule, spurred by widespread concern that the rule was an attempt to overturn the plain language of the OSH Act through regulation. On March 1, 2017, the House voted for the legislation, 231-191. The vote was split mostly along party lines, with 227 Republicans and four Democrats supporting the bill, and 185 Democrats and six Republicans against the bill.

The bill was received by the Senate on March 2, 2017, where it is pending action.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist employers in understanding legislative developments and its implications for operations.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

June 27, 2017

OSHA Considers Extending Crane Certification Deadline

June 27, 2017

The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration met on June 20, 2017, to learn about and give recommendations on OSHA’s proposed rule to extend the enforcement date for crane operator certification requirements of the revised Crane Standard, 29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart CC,... Read More

June 27, 2017

Mine Safety Agency Issues Alert on Coal Truck Dumping Safety

June 27, 2017

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued a safety alert following the death of a tractor trailer coal truck driver whose truck tipped over earlier this year. MSHA said the driver was driving a tractor trailer on February 3 and the coal in the truck bed was damp and frozen. As the driver raised the bed, attempting to dump... Read More

June 22, 2017

Mine Safety Agency Launches ‘Training Assistance Initiative’ for Miners with Less Experience

June 22, 2017

Recent coal-mining deaths have prompted the Mine Safety and Health Administration to launch a voluntary “training assistance initiative” for miners with less than one year of experience in mining or in their current job, MSHA has announced. During a “stakeholder presentation” on June 8, 2017, at the agency’s National Mine Health and... Read More

Related Practices