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Chris Nickels and Amanda Collins Author Article About New OSHA Inspection Walkaround Rule for Employee Relations Law Journal


Quarles & Brady attorneys Chris Nickels and Amanda Collins, both in the firm’s Milwaukee office, wrote an article for Employee Relations Law Journal about a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that allows employees to select a non-employee to represent them during an OSHA walkaround inspection.

Nickels, a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group, and Collins, a Labor & Employment associate, outline in the article the scope of the new rule and then address some of the key implications of the rule and next steps employers should consider.

An excerpt:

The new OSHA walkaround rule, which took effect on May 31, 2024, raises more questions than answers, and we anticipate legal challenges to the regulation in the coming months. In the meantime, employers should consider implementing the following precautions:

  • Review OSHA’s FAQs on the new rule.
  • If an OSHA inspector comes knocking, contact counsel immediately. Employers have the right to representation during an OSHA investigation, including third-party representation.
  • Designate and train employer representatives to handle OSHA inspections, and ensure these individuals have a solid grasp of the rights and limitations of employee representatives.
  • Identify and regularly update a list of areas that contain trade secret information or could reveal trade secret information and advocate for confidentiality by excluding non-employees from that area.
  • Consider requiring all visitors (including third-party employee representatives) to execute nondisclosure and/or confidentiality agreements.


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