National Roofing Legal Resource Center

OSHA record-keeping regulation

The anti-retaliation provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) record-keeping regulation became effective Dec. 1 after a federal court in Texas declined to issue a preliminary injunction to block implementation. The regulation, issued in May, requires employers to submit injury and illness records electronically to the agency beginning in July 2017 so they may be posted online for public inspection. OSHA officials believe the risk of retaliation against workers for reporting injuries under the new regulation is so great they included anti-retaliation provisions in the final regulation. The provisions state employers "must establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately," but the term "reasonable" is not clearly defined. One possible outcome is this could limit post-accident drug and alcohol testing now used by many roofing contractors to promote workplace safety. Although a Texas court denied an injunction Dec. 1 to block implementation, it still must rule on the merits of the lawsuit challenging the regulation and, therefore, still could nullify it depending on the lawsuit's final ruling. Additionally, NRCA believes the incoming Trump administration likely will review the merits of this regulation and could take action to modify or repeal it.


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