The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to block implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Volks” final rule
through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The bill (H. J. Res. 83
) was passed in a bi-partisan vote of 231-191.
Also known as Clarification of an Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness, the final rule extends the time period in which an employer may be cited by OSHA for recordkeeping violations from six months to up to five years. The rulemaking reverses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision in AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Sec’y of Labor
, which stated that OSHA must stick to a six-month statute of limitations when citing a company for failure to record an injury or illness and cannot treat such an event as a continuing violation throughout the five-year recordkeeping period. The final rule went into effect Jan. 18, 2017.
Ahead of the vote, ABC sent a letter
to members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to support the resolution. In the letter, ABC explained, “ABC members understand that safety and health practices are inherently good for business; however, this rulemaking does nothing to improve workplace safety and is simply a paperwork burden. OSHA’s promulgation of this rulemaking is a clear overstepping of its authority and a contradiction of the OSH Act and U.S. Court of Appeals decisions.”
ABC also sent a letter
to House leadership as a member of the Coalition for Workplace Safety urging them to move forward with the resolution.
The resolution of disapproval now awaits action in the U.S. Senate. If it is successful in the Senate, the resolution will be sent to President Trump, whose signature would kill the rule and prevent a future administration from issuing a similar regulation.