Getty Images
Industryweek 13276 Republican Senators

Senate Knocks Down OSHA Record-Keeping Rule

March 23, 2017
The Senate voted 50-48, along party lines, to eliminate the OSHA rule, which requires employers with more than 10 workers to keep ongoing records of safety incidents for five years after they occur. 

A resolution that would cut employers’ required recordkeeping time on work-related injuries and illnesses from five years to six months passed the Senate on Wednesday. It will now cross the desk of President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

The Senate voted 50-48, along party lines, to eliminate the OSHA rule. Two Republican senators abstained.

The rule, which went into effect in January, gave OSHA the authority to fine and cite companies that failed to track work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths for five years after they occurred. It was an answer to a 2012 D.C. Court of Appeals decision, Volks Constructors vs. Secretary of Labor, that stipulated that OSHA could only require companies to keep records of workplace incidents up to six months after they occurred.

In response to the resolution’s passage, UAW President Dennis Williams called it “a slap to the face of American workers” and urged Trump to veto it. Williams said if employers can legally dispose of incident records after six months, “it will be extremely difficult to identify and fix hazards and incident patterns that cause illnesses, severe injuries, or even deaths on the job.”

Supporters of the repeal, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Home Builders Association, contend that OSHA does not have the authority to write laws. Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee and chief sponsor of the resolution, called the rule an “unlawful power grab” that only increases paperwork and “does nothing to improve worker health and safety.”

Earlier this month, Congress passed a resolution to repeal another Obama-era regulation, the Fair Labor and Safe Workplaces rule, that limits the ability of companies with histories of workplace hazards or wage thefts to secure federal contracts. Trump has not yet signed that repeal. 

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Global Supply Chain Readiness Report: The Pandemic and Beyond

Sept. 23, 2022
Jabil and IndustryWeek look into how manufacturers are responding to supply chain woes.

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!