On March 22, the US Senate voted to adopt H.J. Res 83, nullifying OSHA’s rule “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Each Recordable Injury and Illness,” (“Volks” rule). The “Volks” rule made recordkeeping requirements a continuing obligation for five years. The rule effectively gave OSHA the ability to issue citations to employers for failing to record work-related injuries and illnesses during a 5-year retention period, compared to the six-month statute of limitations. This final rule was in response to a 2012 U.S. Court of Appeals decision that held that OSHA could not issue citations for failing to record an injury or illness beyond the six-month statute of limitations set out in the statute.
OSHA issued the proposed rule in July 2015, which was finalized in December 2016 and became effective in January 2017. According to OSHA, the rule was meant to “clarify that the duty to make and maintain an accurate record of an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep and make available records for the year in which the injury or illness occurred. The duty does not expire if the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so.”
The resolution passed the House of Representatives on March 1, 2017 and on March 22 the Senate adopted the resolution indicating that Congress believed OSHA had exceed its authority in issuing the final rule.