ABC member companies believe safety is a core value, above all others, and is the basis of their culture. ABC understands the importance of common-sense regulations based on sound evidence and scientific analysis with appropriate consideration paid to implementation costs and input from employers. Many ABC companies have implemented safety programs that are among the best programs in the industry, often far exceeding legal requirements. Under the Trump administration, we hope the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will focus on collaborative efforts with employers to make workplaces safer.
• Meaningful, constructive oversight of OSHA’s regulatory and enforcement agendas.
• Ensuring that new and existing OSHA standards are as practical, performance-oriented and cost-effective as possible.
• Restructuring the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) to codify collaborative approaches to education, training and technical assistance.
• Fair and responsible inspection and enforcement policies, regardless of labor affiliation.
• OSHA's 2016 final Respirable Crystalline Silica rule that is technologically and economically infeasible. The final rule lowers the permissible exposure limit from the current standard of 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an eight-hour day, and will require contractors to follow several ancillary provisions.
• OSHA’s 2016 final rule on electronic injury reporting and anti-retaliation (or Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses), which requires many employers to electronically submit detailed injury and illness records to OSHA that will be posted on the Internet. Also, some forms of post-accident drug testing and accident-free incentive programs will be deemed to be unlawfully retaliatory.
• Any legislation introducing anti-employer provisions to the OSH Act.
ABC strongly believes OSHA should view employers as partners in achieving safer workplaces. Unfortunately, during the Obama administration, OSHA placed an emphasis on over-zealous enforcement along with burdensome and unnecessary rulemakings.
ABC looks forward to working with the Trump administration on a more inclusive, fair and reasonable approach to achieving and maintaining safe and healthy workplaces. The construction industry will benefit from workplace safety legislation and regulations that implement results-based solutions, increase compliance in a collaborative way and are consistently enforced.
Silica Final Rule
Effective Oct. 23, OSHA will fully enforce all appropriate provisions of the Silica in Construction Standard. On Oct. 19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Galassi issued a memorandum on Interim Enforcement Guidance for the silica standard in construction. ABC, along with several national construction organizations, filed a lawsuit against the final rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which remains pending.
Volks Final Rule
The Volks final rule, or Clarification of an Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness, would have extended the time period in which OSHA could cite an employer for recordkeeping violations from six months to up to five years. Finalized by the Obama administration, the rule would have imposed a massive paperwork burden on contractors without improving jobsite safety.
During the 115th Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed resolution H.J.Res. 83, which President Trump signed into law on April 3, 2017, permanently eliminating the Volks rule.
Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation Final Rule
On Nov. 22, OSHA announced it has extended the compliance date for the electronic reporting provisions of its Electronic Injury Reporting and Anti-Retaliation final rule to Dec. 15. This is a two-week extension from the Dec. 1 compliance date in the proposed rule.
On Aug. 1, OSHA launched the Injury Tracking Application, which is the web-based form employers can use to submit their injury and illness data.
Note: the anti-reliation provisions of the final rule went into effect on Dec. 1, 2016.
In 2016, ABC filed a lawsuit against the final rule, which remains pending.
OSHA "Union Walk Around Rule”
On April 25, 2017, OSHA issued a memorandum withdrawing the 2013 letter of interpretation that stated nonunion employees can authorize an individual “affiliated with a union or a community organization” to act as their representative during agency-sanctioned inspections and other enforcement situations.