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OSHA Delays Anti-Retaliating Provision

drug-testing-aheadOSHA delays the start date of the “anti-retaliating” provision of the new electronic illness and injury reporting rule after legal action was taken by several national associations. Originally scheduled to begin August 10, 2016, enforcement is now set for November 1, 2016. OSHA states in a news release on June 13, 2016, the delay will allow for additional outreach and to provide educational materials and further guidance for employers.

Under OSHA’s new recordkeeping rule, employers are required to provide a safe environment for workers to report injury and illness at the time of occurrence without fear of retaliation, namely post-incident or accident alcohol and drug testing policies. Blanket policies mandating drug-testing for all reported workplace incidents will no longer be allowed. Under the new rule, company policies can require post-incident alcohol and drug testing administered only when the employee’s actions likely caused or directly contributed to the incident. The anti-retaliation rule will allow for penalties up to $7,000 per violation and up to $70,000 for each willful violation. You can read OSHA’s overview of the new recordkeeping rule here.

Greg Sizemore, vice-president of health, safety, environment, and work-force development for Associated Builders and Contractors responded to OSHA’s new “anti-retaliation” rule in a release stating:

“Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to working with our members and OSHA to create safe construction work environments, but it is inconceivable to those of use who study how to improve safety performance that OSHA would want to limit drug and alcohol testing as part of the investigation after and accident or near-miss incident. Root cause analysis is key to developing procedures that prevent future incidents, so we need to know whether drugs or alcohol were a factor”

The Integrated Group will track the development of OSHA’s new recordkeeping rule and provide updates as we move closer to the scheduled enforcement date. For more information on the new rule, feel free to contact The Integrated Group at 425.822.8500 or info@theintegratedgroup.com.

 

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