OSHA Final Rule Reverses "Volks" Decision

On Dec. 19, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule entitled, “clarification of employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness.” The final rule goes into effect Jan. 18, 2017.

The final rule reverses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision in AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Sec’y of Labor, commonly referred to as the “Volks” decision. The court stated OSHA must stick to a six-month statute of limitations when citing a company for failure to record an injury or illness and cannot treat such an event as a continuing violation throughout the five-year recordkeeping period. Under the final rule, OSHA states the obligation continues throughout the five year retention and access period if an employer fails to do the report at the time of incident.

The ABC-led Coalition for Workplace Safety submitted comments on the proposed rule asking the agency to withdraw the rule.