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Congress Overturns OSHA Injury/Illness Recordkeeping Rule


By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a resolution to overturn a regulation which effectively allowed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to cite companies that failed to record work-related injuries and illnesses during the five-year retention period. In 2012, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in the so-called “Volks” lawsuit that OSHA could not issue citations beyond a six-month statute of limitations set out under law. To get around the court finding, OSHA issued a rule before the Trump Administration took office to “clarify” that an employer had a duty to make and maintain accurate injury/illness records for the entire retention period, and that the duty did not end if the employer had failed to create the necessary records during the initial six-month citation period. President Trump is expected to sign the resolution into law.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the authority to overturn a recently issued federal regulation if a resolution is passed by a simple majority and signed by the President. Congress is currently reviewing a number of regulations issued before President Obama left office. The law has only previously been used on one other occasion, in 2001 when Congress overturned the Clinton Administration’s ergonomic rule. 

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