President Trump yesterday signed the resolution repealing the Volks rule, thereby permanently removing OSHA’s ability to cite patterns of injury and illness recordkeeping violations. The resolution, passed under the Congressional Review Act, is yet another step in the Administration’s goal of deconstruction the administrative state, or as the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne explained recently:
In practice, this is a war on a century’s worth of work to keep our air and water clean; our food, drugs, and workplaces safe; the rights of employees protected, and the marketplace fair and unrigged. It’s one thing to make regulations more efficient and no more intrusive than necessary. It’s another to say that all the structures of democratic government designed to protect our citizens from the abuses of concentrated private power should be swept away.
The Senate voted, 50-48 to repeal the Volks rule, and the House voted 231 – 191 last month to repeal the rule.
Employers are still required to retain accurate injury and illness records for 5 years, but there is no way now for OSHA to enforce any violations that are older than 6 months from the time a citation is issued. This means, effectively, that there will be no more large OSHA recordkeeping cases similar to those which throughout OSHA history — in Democratic and Republican administrations — have impacted entire industries.
See the rest of this post at Jordan Barab’s, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA from 2009-17 Website “Confined Spaces”
Note: As always, I am providing Workplace Safety & Health Information to my fellow Safety professionals. The above article and others by Mr. Barab have some very valid points. Read and you decide. Political comments will not be replied to. Workplace Safety is not a Political Issue. ~JB