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Congress Overturns OSHA Record-Keeping Rule

April 9, 2017


Congress has overturned a controversial move by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration Agency (OSHA) to extend from six months to two years the period during which companies must keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses.


OSHA called the new rule the “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.”


The reversal was done through the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows the newly sworn in Congress to look back 60 days into the prior year and overturn any regulations it believes are inappropriate. If the Congress uses the CRA, the agency is also prevented from passing any similar regulation in the future unless explicitly authorized by the Congress with new legislation.


By signing this resolution, President Donald Trump has limited OSHA from issuing employer citations for failing to record injuries or illnesses beyond the six-month statute of limitations set out in the OSHA law.


But while OSHA’s ability to issue fines for recordkeeping violations is being capped at six months, the long-standing OSHA recordkeeping rule that requires employers to maintain injury and illness records for five years remains.  That means that for the five-year time period following an injury, an employer should continue to update its OSHA 300 Logs when new or additional information is discovered that may impact a determination of recordability.


Employers must also remember to post the OSHA 300A form every year between February 1 until April 30. 


If you have any questions about this or any other HR related matter, please contact the AIM Employer Hotline at 800-470-6277. 

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