House Votes to Undo Obama OSHA Rule

This week the House passed a resolution of disapproval on Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Volks rule issued last minute by the Obama administration. The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the authority to pass such resolutions that overturn executive branch rules within 60 days of the rule’s adoption.

The House’s latest use of the CRA, if also taken up by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump, would rollback an OSHA power grab that does far more to burden businesses with paperwork than meaningfully protect worker safety. OSHA requires companies to keep a five-year record of workplace injuries; yet OSHA can only cite a company for a record violation within a 6-month window of filing records. The Volks rule rewrites the law giving agencies authority to hold business responsible for record keeping errors for the entire five-year time period.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce calls the Volk’s rule an “unlawful power grab” that “does nothing to improve worker health and safety, creating  regulatory confusion for small business.” OSHA ought to focus on working with businesses to create safe conditions for workers instead of shoving a one-size fits all bureaucratic approach down the throats of the nation’s top job creators.

This resolution marks a positive step towards reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses across the country, but Congress’ work to undo executive agencies’ rule by fiat is still far from over. Congress should continue using the Congressional Review Act do what it does best-stop last minute red tape regulations.


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