National Roofing Legal Resource Center

OSHA's recordable injury and illness regulation

On Dec. 19, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule the agency says "clarifies an employer's continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness." The regulation has the practical effect of extending the statute of limitations on citations issued for record-keeping violations from six months to five years. The rule effectively skirts a federal appeals court decision from 2012 in which the court concluded OSHA had incorrectly used the five-year record-retention requirement to extend the six-month window for citing violations of the record-keeping requirement. The court said OSHA only can cite an employer for failing to record an injury or illness within six months of the initial incident under the statute of limitations in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, but the new regulation extends this period to five years.

NRCA filed comments opposing OSHA's regulation when it initially was proposed on the grounds the agency's action violates the OSH Act, and it is disappointing to see the agency ignore these and many similar comments by moving forward in this manner. The regulation took effect Jan. 18 and can be viewed here:


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