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AIHA: Overturned OSHA Recordkeeping Rule Missed Opportunity to Protect Workers

Congress passed H.J.Res.83, permanently overturning OSHA’s December 2016 updated recordkeeping rule.

On March 22, the U.S. Senate passed H.J.Res.83, which used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to permanently overturn an OSHA final rule that stated the agency could cite employers for recordkeeping violations that occurred during the five years before the date of the OSHA inspection. Legislators argued, and the Volks case indicated, that while the Occupational Safety and Health Act required employers to record and maintain a log of workplace injuries and illnesses for five years, they only could be cited for record-keeping violations that occurred within six-months of the inspection.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association has released a statement regarding the repeal of OSHA’s “Clarification of Employers’ Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness,” claiming Congress is “missing an opportunity to protect worker health and safety.”

“Congress' number-one priority should be protecting the American people; unfortunately, by sending this legislation to the president, they have placed them at greater risk,” said AIHA President Lawrence Sloan, CAE. “Better injury and illness recordkeeping leads to better, more targeted approaches to protecting worker health and safety. By quickly passing H.J.Res. 83 with little public notice or debate, Congress missed an opportunity to fully explore the possible consequences of overturning OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. AIHA agrees with the need for regulatory reform; however, we hold that it should be done in such a way that allows the public and affected stakeholders to weigh in on its development.

The legislation already had been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 1. It now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

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