In a victory for NAHB and the small business community, the Senate today passed legislation approved by the House earlier this month that will force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reverse a recent recordkeeping rule that would needlessly harm small employers.
“NAHB led the charge along with other industry groups to work with Congress to roll back this regulatory overreach,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “OSHA’s rule would subject millions of small businesses to citations for paperwork violations, while doing nothing to improve worker health or safety.”
NAHB vigorously opposed OSHA for overstepping its authority by unilaterally extending the explicit six-month statute of limitations on recordkeeping violations to five years.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established that employers must keep accurate records of employee injuries and illnesses for five years and that OSHA has six months to cite an employer for a violation. Subsequent court rulings upheld the six-month statute of limitations.
Nonetheless, in a clear attempt to circumvent congressional authority and in spite of the court rulings, OSHA proceeded with its rulemaking, which went into effect on Jan. 18.
When President Trump signs the legislation into law, OSHA will still be able to issue a citation for recordkeeping paperwork violations up to six months after they occurred and employers will still have the exact same obligation to record injuries as they always had.
The difference: OSHA will no longer be able to play “gotcha” by issuing a citation five years after the occurrence, which would do nothing to minimize workplace hazards but would subject small businesses to needless fines and excessive paperwork requirements.
The legislation passed by a vote of 50-48. For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.