President Trump has signed a resolution reversing an Obama Administration rule that strengthened OSHA’s enforcement powers with regard to employee illness and injury records. OSHA requires that employers maintain records concerning a host of issues related to health and safety of their employees, including medical records, training records, and accident and injury statistics. OSHA routinely cites employers for errors in classification and failing to record illnesses and injuries.
OSHA implemented a new rule in January 2017 called Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Each Recordable Injury and Illness. It made recordkeeping requirements a continuing obligation and effectively gave OSHA the ability to issue citations to employers for failing to record work-related injuries and illnesses during the 5-year retention period, as opposed to the six months permitted under AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Sec’y of Labor, 675 F.3d 752 (D.C. Cir. 2012).
Employing the Congressional Review Act, the Senate adopted a resolution (H.J. Res 83) on March 23, 2017, which reversed the new rule, thereby reverting to the six-month limitation of OSHA’s review of employee illness and injury records.