Senate Axes OSHA Rule That Extended Citation Period

March 23rd, 2017 by Trey Barrineau

The Senate voted 50-48 on Wednesday to get rid of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule extending the period of time that a business can be punished for failing to report workplace injuries and illnesses to five years. The rule was published in the final days of the Obama administration.

On December 19, 2016, OSHA published a final rule that says an employer can be issued citations for workplace injuries or illnesses within five years of the date of the incident. It went into effect on January 18, 2017. However, the rule appeared to contradict a 2012 decision in the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia that said OSHA had no authority to issue citations against an employer after six months from the date of a workplace injury or illness.

2016 was an active year for OSHA when it comes to rules for employers reporting injuries.

In May, the agency issued a new rule that requires companies to make all of their injury and illness data public under the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule, which revises OSHA’s “Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses” regulation. Under the new rule, employers in high-hazard industries will send OSHA injury and illness data that the employers are already required to collect, and it will be posted on the agency’s website.

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