DOL Proposes Revisions to Workplace Inspections

Workplace inspection

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise regulations regarding workplace inspections.

The proposed rule change seeks to clarify who can be authorized by employees to act as their representative to accompany the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance officers during physical workplace inspections. According to the updated regulations, employees can authorize an existing employee or a non-employee third party. These outside representatives may be deemed reasonably necessary because they have skills, knowledge, or experience that might aid the OSHA officer’s inspection.

“Congress considered worker participation a key element of workplace safety and health inspections when it passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” said Doug Parker, DOL assistant secretary for occupational safety and health. “This proposal aims to make inspections more effective and ultimately make workplaces safer by increasing opportunities for employees to be represented in the inspection process.”

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), an association for construction professionals, had a different take on the proposed revisions.

“This proposal does nothing to promote workplace safety, and it will have a substantial negative impact on the rights of employers and their employees,” stated Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor, and state affairs in a recent press release.

“By allowing outside union representatives access to nonunion employers’ private property, OSHA is injecting itself into labor-management disputes and casting doubt on its status as a neutral enforcer of the law,” said Brubeck. “Unfortunately, many outside union organizer representatives have a biased agenda that is not focused on safety or health, which could distract OSHA inspectors from their primary purpose of workplace safety.”

Those who wish to submit comments on the proposed revisions may do so electronically at www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal, by referencing Docket Number OSHA-2023-0008.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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