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house Bill H. Joint Res. 83

Blocking a Regulation That Lets OSHA Cite Employers for Record-Keeping Violations in the Last Five Years

Argument in favor

The Obama administration overstepped its authority when it issued a rule extending a statute of limitations that let businesses be cited for record-keeping violations under OSHA in the last five years rather than just the last six months. The rule should be repealed.

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02/27/2017
This regulation is EXACTLY why we need to ELIMINATE unconstitutional executive departments. By what authority did Obama's labor department extend this regulation from six months to five years? The Declaration of Independence says that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Did you consent to this regulation? Did you get a chance to vote for or against it, citizen? Did your duly-appointed representatives in Congress? Nope! So if it wasn't by the consent of the governed, then by what authority do these agencies act? By their own. By their own self-declared authority. And what kind of leadership claims and expands its own authority: one moving us toward liberty or one moving us toward tyranny (no government action is neutral)? In the interest of not giving up an inch of liberty in any sphere, I say to vote in favor of blocking that regulation. If longer records are something you want, then use your voice (via your representation in the houses of Congress) to declare your consent. Now, I would still oppose it because I think that's none of the government's business, but there I have an opportunity to declare my non-consent. But do not tyrannically declare that "this is now the way it's going to be, not because you all agreed to it, but because I say so." Is that really a precedent you want to set?
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Elinor's Opinion
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02/27/2017
When will any business owner be permitted time to actually do any work? Government is increasingly interfering with our time to earn money by wasting our time with required record keeping. OSHA is just one government entity that does this. Consider that most employers have to complete state and federal forms that are required monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annually. We do not get paid to do secretarial work for government.
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···
02/27/2017
Too much power in the hands of too few people in Washington, D.C. It also puts government's hand deeper into the inner workings of businesses and the work of private individuals. These regulations are unconstitutional, stifle American ingenuity, and keep people poor by holding back businesses that would better grow without them. A regulation may help workers, but it needs to be done right and not through a unilateral, illegal directive by an unconstitutional federal agency.
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Argument opposed

It makes sense to allow OSHA to cite employers for violations in their workplace safety records over a five-year timespan even if that exceeds the six months that Congress authorized. The regulation should stay in effect.

ShePersisted's Opinion
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02/27/2017
"It makes sense to allow OSHA to cite employers for violations in their workplace safety records over a five-year timespan even if that exceeds the six months that Congress authorized. The regulation should stay in effect." OSHA protects workers. Vote no, do not repeal this legislation.
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Maureen 's Opinion
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02/27/2017
As a safety and loss prevention professional, I've observed small and large employers "rolling the dice" with their (or temp) employees health and safety. It's not "all" employers but for those that actually get visited by OSHA (minuscule amount).. Repeat injuries should be corrected in the workplace long before the next one occurs, and in order to fully assess accountability to reducing risk within the workplace, a historical review of OSHA logs is necessary. If in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, an employer records the same injury type in the same job function, a citation should be considered accountability beyond paying for W/C injuries through their insurance claim process. In most cases, the company knows about the unsafe conditions and or behaviors that are occurring and they do little to prevent the next injury from happening.
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Ross's Opinion
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02/27/2017
When an OSHA Compliance Officer comes in to do an investigation, they ask for the current year 300 logs (injury logs) and the past 5 years. They don't come in every six months asking for the logs. Removing this rule would encourage businesses to be more risky with how accurate their logs are. If companies are being honest and not attempting to hide anything, there should really be no incentive to overturn this rule.
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What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 83?

This resolution would overturn a Dept. of Labor regulation that extended the window in which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can cite employers for record-keeping violations in their health and safety logs from six months to five years. The Occupational Health and Safety Act set the timeframe at six months, but the Labor Dept. finalized a rule extending that timeframe to five years during the final weeks of the Obama administration.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is able to overturn regulations finalized within the last 60 legislative days with simple majority votes on a joint resolution of disapproval in both chambers and the president’s signature. CRA resolutions also prevent the federal agency that created the regulation from issuing a similar rule without being directed to do so by Congress.

Impact

Employers who could be cited for OSHA record-keeping violations; OSHA; and the Dept. of Labor.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 83

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) introduced this bill to prevent OSHA’s “Volks” rule from taking effect and check an attempt by the executive branch to unilaterally change an existing law. In a press release, Byrne said that regulation was “an unlawful power grab by the Obama administration” and added:

“Every worker deserves safe and healthy working conditions, and bad actors who put hardworking men and women in harm’s way must be held accountable… Unfortunately, the Obama administration consistently doubled down on failed, punitive policies that do more to tie small businesses in red tape than protect workers. With this rule, OSHA rewrote federal law while doing nothing to improve worker health and safety. Congress must reject this unlawful power grab and encourage the agency to adopt the responsible, proactive safety approach that America's workers deserve.”

In 2012, the U.S. District Court for D.C. ruled in the Volks case that OSHA didn’t have the authority to cite employers for record-keeping violations that occurred more than six months earlier, which was the standard set by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: ell brown via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Official Title

Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to "Clarification of Employer's Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness".

joint resolution Progress


  • EnactedApril 3rd, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed March 22nd, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 50 Yea / 48 Nay
  • The house Passed March 1st, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 231 Yea / 191 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedFebruary 21st, 2017

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    This regulation is EXACTLY why we need to ELIMINATE unconstitutional executive departments. By what authority did Obama's labor department extend this regulation from six months to five years? The Declaration of Independence says that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Did you consent to this regulation? Did you get a chance to vote for or against it, citizen? Did your duly-appointed representatives in Congress? Nope! So if it wasn't by the consent of the governed, then by what authority do these agencies act? By their own. By their own self-declared authority. And what kind of leadership claims and expands its own authority: one moving us toward liberty or one moving us toward tyranny (no government action is neutral)? In the interest of not giving up an inch of liberty in any sphere, I say to vote in favor of blocking that regulation. If longer records are something you want, then use your voice (via your representation in the houses of Congress) to declare your consent. Now, I would still oppose it because I think that's none of the government's business, but there I have an opportunity to declare my non-consent. But do not tyrannically declare that "this is now the way it's going to be, not because you all agreed to it, but because I say so." Is that really a precedent you want to set?
    Like (65)
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    "It makes sense to allow OSHA to cite employers for violations in their workplace safety records over a five-year timespan even if that exceeds the six months that Congress authorized. The regulation should stay in effect." OSHA protects workers. Vote no, do not repeal this legislation.
    Like (255)
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    Blocking a regulation that helps keep American workers safe makes no sense. Complaining about it being too much paperwork simply demonstrates a lack of empathy and foresight.
    Like (566)
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    As a safety and loss prevention professional, I've observed small and large employers "rolling the dice" with their (or temp) employees health and safety. It's not "all" employers but for those that actually get visited by OSHA (minuscule amount).. Repeat injuries should be corrected in the workplace long before the next one occurs, and in order to fully assess accountability to reducing risk within the workplace, a historical review of OSHA logs is necessary. If in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, an employer records the same injury type in the same job function, a citation should be considered accountability beyond paying for W/C injuries through their insurance claim process. In most cases, the company knows about the unsafe conditions and or behaviors that are occurring and they do little to prevent the next injury from happening.
    Like (168)
    Follow
    Share
    When an OSHA Compliance Officer comes in to do an investigation, they ask for the current year 300 logs (injury logs) and the past 5 years. They don't come in every six months asking for the logs. Removing this rule would encourage businesses to be more risky with how accurate their logs are. If companies are being honest and not attempting to hide anything, there should really be no incentive to overturn this rule.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    Why would anyone vote against a rule that is designed to protect workers? OSHA needs to be able to cite companies for inadequate records keeping regarding accidents if it is to make rules designed to prevent accidents. Voting for this bill will diminish the agency's ability to protect workers and is a gift to unethical bosses.
    Like (41)
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    When will any business owner be permitted time to actually do any work? Government is increasingly interfering with our time to earn money by wasting our time with required record keeping. OSHA is just one government entity that does this. Consider that most employers have to complete state and federal forms that are required monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annually. We do not get paid to do secretarial work for government.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    Too much power in the hands of too few people in Washington, D.C. It also puts government's hand deeper into the inner workings of businesses and the work of private individuals. These regulations are unconstitutional, stifle American ingenuity, and keep people poor by holding back businesses that would better grow without them. A regulation may help workers, but it needs to be done right and not through a unilateral, illegal directive by an unconstitutional federal agency.
    Like (29)
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    Our workers should always be guaranteed a safe place to work. OSHA is a watchdog for workers and should be allowed to continue. Employers used to do the right thing by their employees, unfortunately workers can no longer count on this. Enter OSHA. :-)
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    The five year limit helps ensure that employers don't try to doctor the records when caught in violation.
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    There are many people who would have us believe that government regulations are bad for everyone. That somehow this loss of time and need to be held to a better standard of practice equals less profit that also hurts the worker. In many ways this is likened to trickle down economics. The same trickle down economics that lead to the decimation of the middle class. Regulations on business is the friend of the average working person. Unchecked capitalism leads to crimes against humanity. As a former construction worker, and teamster I know how much of a pain osha can be. But thank god they are there. Without osha, government regulations, and unions we would be bound by longer hours, lower wages, and horrific work environments. Unfortunately republicans are looking to turn back the clock on us and are succeeding in many ways. There is a history behind the need for regulation, and it's bloody. READ UP! Then decide.
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    The pre-Volks law was that businesses must create records w/in six months. That seems reasonable, and employers should be held to that. Once the records have been created, I don't think's unreasonable (or costly) to simply retain them. Given how long it can take the government to get around to checking stuff like this, I don't think a six-month "statute of limitations" is good (meaning, if you can manage to escape government attention (probably due to funding limitations) for six months, you can skate). Folks who want to block this rule should ALSO allocate sufficient funds for the administration to enforce the six-month limit. Since I don't think that will happen, the rule should not be blocked.
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    Do not overturn this regulation, no harm can come from it- it is in place to protect workers. A vote against is a vote for our workers.
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    Go through congress like you're supposed to.
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    Record keeping often leads to a safer workplace.
    Like (14)
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    Do not overturn this regulation
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    Tell American workers you have their backs, Congress. Vote No.
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    Record manipulation is deliberate act and it is how organizations hide their wrongdoings & flaunt regulations, laws & thus democracy. Don't let Congress & businesses become crucibles of corruption!
    Like (11)
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    “Every worker deserves safe and healthy working conditions, and bad actors who put hardworking men and women in harm’s way must be held accountable… Unfortunately, the Obama administration consistently doubled down on failed, punitive policies that do more to tie small businesses in red tape than protect workers. With this rule, OSHA rewrote federal law while doing nothing to improve worker health and safety. Congress must reject this unlawful power grab and encourage the agency to adopt the responsible, proactive safety approach that America's workers deserve.” I agree. Another last minute regulation that needs to be undone. When citizens were complaining to Speaker Paul Ryan about not advancing legislation to enact President Trump's agenda, he said they have a priority to reverse a bunch of regulations from the Obama administration. President Obama and his group of liberals had eight years to cause problems for America's businesses. Conservatives, can you imagine the nightmare of regulations from a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders administration? Thank goodness they didn't win. President Trump and his administration are going to help American businesses and that should get him reelected in four years.
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    unless OSHA has the budget to fully fund inspections and enforcement, there is always going to be a backlog.
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