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It’s Official…OSHA’s “Volks” Rule is Invalidated

April 4th, 2017 President Trump signed H.J. Res 83, which finalized the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) process and nullified OSHA’s rule “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Each Recordable Injury and Illness,” informally referred to as the “Volks” rule.

Under the CRA once the joint resolution of disapproval of the rule is signed by the President the “rule shall not take effect (or continue).” Further, OSHA is now prohibited from promulgating a rule “in substantially the same form” as the disapproved rule.

This means that OSHA is prohibited from issuing employers citations for failing to record injuries or illnesses beyond the six-month statute of limitations set out in the OSH Act, which is precisely what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held when it decided the Volks decision. AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors v. Sec’y of Labor, 675 F.3d 752 (D.C. Cir. 2012).

While OSHA is prohibited from issuing citations beyond the six-month statute of limitations, employers are still required to maintain injury and illness records for 5 years.  And during that 5-year time period, employers should continue to update their OSHA 300 Logs when new or additional information is discovered that may impact a determination of recordability.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 95


About this Author

Tressi Cordaro, Occupational safety health attorney, Jackson Lewis, enforcement agency lawyer, labor litigation legal counsel

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested...