OSHA “Volks Rule” Retraction Clears Senate – Headed for Trump’s Signature


By a vote of 50-48, the U.S. Senate this week disapproved the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness” (Volks Rule). Under the OSH Act, employers are required to record and maintain a log of workplace injuries and illnesses. The law explicitly states employers can be cited for record-keeping violations within six months of the injury or illness occurring. Two federal courts have rejected OSHA’s attempt to extend this statute of limitations to five years after a report. Yet, OSHA had issued this final regulation anyway extending the threat of penalty up to five years. A resolution of disapproval passed the House of Representatives on March 1, 2017 and this week the Senate adopted the resolution under the Congressional Review Act, an indication that Congress believed OSHA had exceed its authority in issuing the final rule. The resolution will now head to President Trump to sign; he has indicated he will sign the resolution.  3/23/2017