Trump Administration Proposes Changes to Several Obama-Era OSHA Regulations
Labor & Employment Regulatory Newsletter 06/20/18 Fred Gants and Tyler Roth
ISSUE: Several proposals in recent weeks suggest the Trump Administration may be focusing on rolling back certain Obama-era workplace safety initiatives.
- In an April 9, 2018 report to a federal district court, attorneys from the Labor Department indicated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") intends to withdraw the requirement that worksites with 250 or more employees submit both OSHA form 300 (a log of work-related injuries and illnesses) and OSHA form 301 (an annual report which provides information on each case). OSHA is currently not accepting submissions on its website of OSHA forms 300 and 301 while the rule’s future remains uncertain. There was no mention, however, of withdrawing the rule’s directive that employers submit a third document, OSHA form 300A, which requires a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses by July 1, 2018.
- On May 23, 2018, OSHA submitted to the White House proposed changes to its workplace injury and illness recordkeeping rule. While OSHA did not disclose its proposed changes, the agency has at least hinted in prior public documents that some requirements may be cut from the recordkeeping rule.
- On May 31, 2018, OSHA proposed to delay the compliance date for parts of its beryllium standard to December 12, 2018. The requirements that would be delayed are part of what is known as the ancillary provisions of the regulation. However, the primary focus of the rule -- a lower limit at which employers can expose workers to beryllium -- is not being changed.
The Trump Administration’s workplace safety initiatives have also met some recent resistance.
- On May 25, 2018, the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General announced that it was initiating an audit of OSHA’s “process for issuing and managing regulations.” The audit includes a review of how OSHA issues guidance documents that supplement its regulations. The announcement comes on the heels of the request from five Democratic senators and Independent Bernie Sanders (VT) that the Inspector General’s office review the Labor Department’s decision to delay implementation of its silica and beryllium rules.
Read more Insight & Impact from June 2018:
- Trump Administration’s Changes to Work Visa Programs
- Federal Agencies Issue Additional Guidance and Signal Stepped-Up Enforcement of Mental Health Parity Rules
- Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Sets Forth 2018 Regulatory Agenda
IMPACT: While these changes to OSHA regulations have not yet formally materialized, they nonetheless serve as a strong indication that the Trump Administration is focusing its attention and cutbacks on Obama-era regulations and change may be on the horizon. We will continue to monitor the proposed changes and provide updates of any major developments.
For more information, please contact your local Quarles & Brady attorney or these members of our employee benefits group: