The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauds the repeal of OSHA’s five-year look-back for recordkeeping violations. On April 3, President Donald Trump signed a congressional resolution repealing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that extended the statute of limitations from six months to five years regarding the length of time the agency could issue a citation for an employer’s failure to record an injury or illness. NLBMDA worked with its industry partners, including the National Association of Manufacturers, to roll back the requirement.
The Obama Administration had claimed that OSHA’s “Volks Rule,” which took effect on Jan. 18, two days before Donald Trump was sworn-in as President, clarified an employer’s continuing obligation to record employee injuries and illnesses. On March 1, under the authority of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), the House of Representatives approved a resolution (H.J. Res 83) repealing the “Volks Rule” in a vote largely along Party lines. The Senate followed suit on March 22 in approving the resolution, setting the stage for the President to sign the resolution.
Under the CRA, Congress has 60 legislative days to overrule a regulation. The resolution must be approved by the House and Senate and then signed by President Trump before the regulation can be repealed. This instance represents only the second time in history that an OSHA rule has been repealed under the CRA.
OSHA moved forward with the “Volks Rule” last year despite the 2012 D.C. Circuit Court decision in AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Secretary of Labor, that held that the agency could not issue citations against an employer for alleged recordkeeping violations that occurred more than six months ago.
“Worker safety is top priority to NLBMDA members, but a balanced approach is needed for OSHA enforcement,” said NLBMDA President and CEO Jonathan Paine. “This is a victory for NLBMDA and its members and we will continue to work to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses.”