WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22– Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today applauded the U.S. Senate for joining the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a resolution (H.J. Res. 83
) that will block implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Volks” final rule (also known as Clarification of an Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness) through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
“Associated Builders and Contractors members are committed to maintaining safe jobsites, however, the ‘Volks’ rule promulgated by OSHA does nothing to improve jobsite safety; instead it places an enormous paperwork burden on contractors,” said ABC Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Kristen Swearingen. “Congress’s action does not remove an employer’s obligation to document injuries and illnesses, but blocks OSHA’s overreaching rule, which contradicts the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the U.S. Court of Appeals decisions. We applaud the Senate for joining the House in passing this resolution and urge President Trump to take immediate action to sign it into law and relieve contractors from this burdensome regulation.”
The House passed the measure to block the rule, which extends the time period in which an employer may be cited by OSHA for recordkeeping violations from six months to up to five years, in a bipartisan vote on March 1
. The rulemaking 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
, which stated that 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. The final rule went into effect Jan. 18, 2017.
Under the CRA, Congress may pass a resolution of disapproval to prohibit a federal agency from implementing a rule without congressional authorization with a majority vote in both houses.
If President Trump signs the CRA resolution into law, it will overturn the Volks rule and prevent future administrations from promulgating a similar rule—essentially permanently eliminating the rule.
ABC sent letters to members of the House
urging them to support the resolution, which was a key vote for ABC’s 115th Congressional Scorecard.