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President Overturns OSHA Ongoing Recordkeeping Rule

On April 3, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law House Joint Resolution 83 (H.J. Res. 83). This bill nullifies a recordkeeping final rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA issued this final rule to amend its recordkeeping regulations and clarify that an employer’s duty to create and maintain work-related injury or illness records is an ongoing obligation. The final rule did not create any additional or new recordkeeping obligations for employers.

The clarification explained that an employer remains under an obligation to record a qualifying injury or illness throughout the five-year record storage period, even if the incident was not originally recorded during the first six months after its occurrence.

This Compliance Bulletin contains information regarding the nullified final rule and clarifies which legal requirements no longer affect employers subject to OSHA recordkeeping rules.

ACTION STEPS
The final rule is no longer valid. Therefore, employers are no longer required to comply with any of its provisions. Employers that were affected by the final rule should review their workplace injury and illness recordkeeping procedures and ensure that they are consistent with the nullification of this rule.

Impact on Employers
Because the final rule has been effectively repealed, employers are no longer required to comply with any of its provisions. This means that OSHA cannot enforce an employer’s recordkeeping obligation if the employer fails to record an incident within the first six months of when the incident took place. In practical terms, this means that OSHA will have to limit the scope of its recordkeeping investigations to the previous six months, rather than the previous five years.
However, because some OSHA records span entire calendar years, employers that fail to create injury and illness records in a timely fashion risk the possibility of keeping inaccurate records or reporting erroneous information to OSHA. Therefore, employers should not interpret this legislative development as an opportunity to bypass or contravene existing OSHA recordkeeping obligations.

More Information
Please contact Conservation United for more information on OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

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