UPDATE: Trump signs measure to revoke OSHA recordkeeping violations rule
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Volks rule was a component of OSHA's electronic recordkeeping rule.
UPDATE: Donald Trump signed a resolution Tuesday overturning the Volks rule, which authorized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to extend its enforcement authority of recordkeeping violations from six months to five years. The Senate and House approved the measure eliminating the rule in March.
Companies must still maintain logs of injuries and illnesses for the previous five years but now cannot be cited by OSHA for incidents beyond the six-month mark. The Associated Builders and Contractors praised Trump's move Tuesday and said the now-eliminated rule "imposed a massive paperwork burden on contractors without improving job site safety."
- The chairman of the House Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-AL, used the Congressional Review Act resolution process to overturn an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule dealing with recordkeeping violations, according to the National Law Review.
- The regulation — also known as the Volks rule — reversed a former OSHA regulation that limited the agency's ability to issue a recordkeeping citation to a timeframe of six months.
- The National Association of Home Builders issued a statement in support of the joint resolution and called the Volks rule an "attempt to circumvent congressional authority." The NAHB said the rule contradicted a 2012 U.S. Court of Appeals decision that said OSHA could not cite employers for recordkeeping violations past the six-month limitation.
The NAHB, along with other industry groups, has also filed suit against OSHA's final recordkeeping rule. Industry organizations maintain that electronic filing requirements are burdensome and that the new public database of injury and illness information will expose confidential information. In addition, critics argue that the rule reveals only information about injuries and illnesses and nothing about safety efforts of companies.
However, the Department of Labor said that making injury and illness records public would let companies with good safety records showcase that to the public and would "nudge" other firms to step up their safety procedures.
A key component of the pushback to the rule is an anti-retaliation provision that would prevent employers from performing automatic, post-accident drug testing. OSHA's position is that testing would prevent employees from reporting accidents and injuries, but many companies say it is a critical safety tool.
Implementation of this provision was held up briefly from August to December because of a court action in Texas led by the Associated Builders and Contractors, but a judge ultimately denied the request to block the rule, and it went into effect Dec. 1.
- National Law Review Signs OSHA Priorities are Shifting Under Trump Administration?
- National Association of Home Builders Statement from NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald on Congressional Effort to Overturn OSHA Recordkeeping “Volks” Rule
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