New House Joint Resolution on OSHA Recordkeeping Nullifies Previous Ruling
Article by Josie Gaskey, PACA's Director of Environmental, Safety & Health
In 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that OSHA could not issue citations for failing to record an injury or illness beyond the six-month statute of limitations set out in the statute (OSHA v. Volks). On July 29, 2015, despite the Court’s decision, OSHA they issued a proposed rule which OSHA indicated clarified the employer’s recordkeeping responsibilities. The proposed rule, “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness” was finalized in December 2016 and became effective in January 2017. The rule, however, did more than clarify. It also undid the Court’s 2012 Volks ruling.
Federal House Joint Resolution 83 nullifies OSHA’s December 2016 final rule and indicates that the rule has no force or effect. This Joint Resolution passed the House of Representatives on March 1, 2017, and on March 22nd, the Senate adopted the resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The resolution was presented to President Trump to sign on March 27, and indications are that he will sign the resolution. Once a rule is repealed, the CRA also prohibits OSHA from reissuing the rule in substantially the same form, or issuing a new rule that is substantially the same, unless another new law is passed within 60 legislative session days of the Joint Resolution. (Also see March 2, 2017 PACA E-ALERT for CRA discussion.)
For you, this means that once the Resolution is signed by the President, OSHA should not be issuing citations to your company for failing to record an injury or illness beyond the six-month statute of limitations. Any questions, contact Josie Gaskey.