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October 25, 2016
What’s behind the latest enforcement delay for OSHA’s antiretaliation provisions?

In view of a legal challenge, OSHA has postponed further enforcement of the antiretaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rules. Keep reading to find out when the provisions will go into effect and what the delay means for you.

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The antiretaliation provisions were originally scheduled to begin August 10, 2016. Over the summer, the enforcement date was postponed to November 1; with the latest announcement, OSHA will not begin enforcing the provisions until December 1. The original postponement was explained by OSHA as allowing time for outreach to the regulated community.

This latest action came at the request of a Texas district court judge who is president over a legal challenge to the provisions filed by industry representatives. According to the law firm Conn Maciel Carey LLP, which specializes in OSHA matters, this postponement will give the court additional time to consider a motion that would indefinitely delay enforcement.

Under the rule in question, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliation against those who report.

According to Conn Maciel, the industry challenge was based on the grounds that OSHA did not show that the anti-retaliation provisions would actually reduce injury rates, and that the agency did not follow federal requirements in the rulemaking process. Apparently, the judge’s request that OSHA extend the stay of enforcement was a fairly unusual move based on ongoing disagreement between OSHA and the plaintiffs regarding the scope of the relief being requested.

For more information about the antiretaliation provisions of OSHA’s injury and illness tracking rule, check out the latest episode of the EHS on Tap podcast.

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