Federal agencies Recordkeeping

Trump signs resolution to strike down ‘Volks’ recordkeeping rule

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Photo: Michael Vadon

Washington – President Donald Trump has signed a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal OSHA’s so-called “Volks” rule, which addressed employers’ ongoing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injury and illness data.

Trump signed the measure (H.J. Res 83) into law April 4 following its passage in the House and Senate. Trump’s signature nullifies the rule that gave OSHA the ability to enforce recordkeeping requirements for five-and-a-half years instead of six months. Employers still will be required to maintain injury and illness records, but OSHA’s enforcement capabilities will be weakened.

OSHA published the rule Dec. 19 – one month and one day before the Trump administration replaced the Obama administration. The rule stemmed from a legal case involving Volks Constructors.

“The role of the executive branch is to enforce the laws – not rewrite them,” Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, said in a press release. “This OSHA power grab was completely unlawful. It would have done nothing to improve workplace safety while creating significant regulatory confusion for small businesses. … This is just one step in our efforts to uphold the rule of law and advance responsible, proactive policies that keep America’s workers safe.”

Jordan Barab, former deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, blasted Trump’s decision via his Twitter account.

“Trump signs repeal of OSHA Volks Rule,” Barab tweeted. “More workers hurt, sickened and killed in the workplace.”

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