Reports on Two Workplace Safety Updates

- Recent coverage from continues to track the rapid changes happening in federal labor and safety regulations under the new Trump administration. Three important changes are outlined below.

OSHA and Industry Win Reversal of Record-Keeping Rule

Under new leadership, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), submitted a joint filing with industry plaintiffs in order to reverse a motion, filed in the last days of the Obama administration, defending the agency’s worker injury and illness record-keeping regulation. On February 22, a federal judge in Texas granted the request to reverse OSHA’s stance.

Now on the chopping block, the rule requires companies to report onsite data regarding injury and illness to OSHA, which would be published online in a gesture of transparency. 

Though the rule included anti-retaliation provisions, it quickly became a target of industry groups who argued the provisions were too weak, and, furthermore, the Obama administration had failed to justify the regulation with adequate evidence demonstrating unsafe conditions or inaccurate reporting caused by previous record-keeping policies.

New Repeals Task Force

A February 24 executive order (EO) requires OSHA among other agencies, to establish a task force with the goal of identifying regulations in need of repeal or modification.

The order states, “each Regulatory Reform Task Force will evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification. Each agency’s Task Force will focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

The task force initiative follows another Trump EO requiring the withdrawal of two existing regulations for every new regulation submitted, as well as comments from White House strategist Steve Bannon prioritizing the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

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