Federal regulations governing the workplace could be up for major changes in 2017. President Donald Trump and GOP members of Congress have made statements promising to cut back on many regulations, and many of the cuts would target workplace safety rules and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement. Recent actions from members of Congress have suggested that Republican leaders will follow through on these promises. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stated, however, that they are continuing with their commitment to workplace safety issues. Keep an eye out for action on these specific regulations in the coming months:
OSHA Fines Not Published
Former President Barack Obama’s administration issued an average of 460 news releases on OSHA fines and enforcement actions each year. They stated that these releases were an effective tool in reducing workplace safety violations. Since President Trump has taken office, OSHA has not publicized fines, but a DOL spokesperson stated that the agency is continuing its enforcement efforts as usual.
House Votes to Block OSHA Rule
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve an Obama-era OSHA rule that extended the agency’s authority to issue citations for record-keeping violations to five years up from six months. The resolution will soon be up for a vote in the Senate, and if it passes, Trump is expected to sign it.
Blacklisting Rule Expected to be Struck Down
The House and Senate voted to strike down what many called blacklisting regulations which required federal contractors to report workplace safety and labor violations. This would potentially bar them from receiving future contracts, depending on the severity of the infractions. Trump is expected to sign this resolution.
KRESS will continue to send updates on workplace regulations impacted by the new administration in our monthly newsletter. Sign up and never miss a story!