The Occuapational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has decided not to appeal a recent ruling that the agency's Cooperative Compliance Program (CCP) is illegal and cannot be used because it, in essence, is a standard and didn't undergo required review and comments prior to implementation.
A suit brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations made its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which made the April 9, 1999, ruling.
CCP, which OSHA viewed as an enforcement strategy, offered employers with high injury and illness rates a choice between partnership with OSHA and traditional enforcement.
"We remain committed to the value of such programs and are continuing work on a safety and health program rule," Administrator Charles N. Jeffress said in announcing the decision to not appeal. "We will continue to pursue partnerships with those who want to work cooperatively with OSHA."
OSHA unveiled CCP in January this year as a way to target high-hazard workplaces. The agency declared that 12,250 employers with lost workday injury and illness rates of 7.0 or higher nearly twice the national average of 3.6 would agree to join the program or face a wall-to-wall inspection. The plan called for each employer to identify and correct hazards, including ergonomics hazards, and create a safety and health program that fully involved employees.