Issue #44  •  Fall 2016


The Newsletter of the

Web Sling & Tie Down Association

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OSHA Delay on Injury and Illness Rule a Major Win for Manufacturers

The Department of Labor last month announced a delay in enforcement of OSHA’s new injury and illness rule until November 1, 2016, soon after the filing of a memorandum and emergency motion by the Manufacturers Center for Legal Action (MCLA) seeking to enjoin the implementation of rule.

OSHA’s rule, titled “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” was to take effect August 10 and would “cause irreparable harm… to many thousands of employers across the country” citing the memorandum by MCLA. The specific provisions of the rule at issue are areas where MCLA believes OSHA attempts to regulate and for the first time prohibit “incident-based” employer safety incentive programs and routine mandatory post-incident drug testing programs.

MCLA states that these safety incentive programs “demonstrably help employers to promote workplace safety, which is supposed to be OSHA’s primary mission.” Instead, the New Rule declares incident-based safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing programs to be unlawfully “retaliatory,” even though these programs make workplaces safer, and even though there is no scientific evidence that the Safety Programs cause any material reduction in reporting of workplace injuries or illnesses.

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly issued the following statement: “This delay of the effective date of the rule by the Department of Labor reaffirms manufacturers’ view that OSHA lacks the statutory authority to enforce this rule. This new rule is clearly more than a mere tweak to a major regulation; it will have costs, real-world impact and is fundamentally infeasible. Manufacturers take pride in creating safe workplaces and are supportive of regulations that increase transparency, but this regulation does neither, and we look forward to continuing this fight in the courts.”

OSHA’s decision comes on the heels of the MCLA’s challenge to the rule in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

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