PMPA Opposes OSHA’s Expanded Workplace Rule

The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) filed official comments opposing an administration proposal to place additional burdens on employers while loosening injury reporting requirements on employees.

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The Precision Machined Products Association (PMPA) filed official comments opposing an administration proposal to place additional burdens on employers while loosening injury reporting requirements on employees.

Clarity, not confusion, should be the work product coming out of here.

On August 14, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a Supplemental Notice to a pending rule to make injury and illness reports public, which becomes final in March 2015. The notice reframes Employee injury reporting as a “right” rather than a “duty.”

Reporting of injuries and illnesses is not a right. It is an obligation of the employee to report, and a responsibility of the employer to record, investigate, and take appropriate remedial actions to retrain as necessary and to remove any hazards so identified.

“We are very concerned that the as-yet unpublished regulatory text will actually become an obstacle to our ability to manage safety and hazard identification in manufacturing facilities,” says Rob Kiener, PMPA interim executive director. “By changing the understanding of an employee’s “obligation to report injuries and illnesses” to a “right to report,” OSHA allows workers the discretion to not report while maintaining the burden on employers,” Mr. Kiener says.

For these reasons, and the reasons given in our submitted letter, earlier comments, and testimony, the PMPA urged OSHA to withdraw both the proposed regulation and Supplemental Notice.

In the absence of actual regulatory text for us to review, OSHA creates only uncertainty regarding employers’ duties and obligations.

Furthermore, by ignoring OSHA’s own rule that employee compliance is a “duty,” OSHA potentially creates a means for employees to fail to report injuries and illnesses, with the proliferation of unrecognized hazards in workplaces across the country as a probable result.

Originally posted on PMPAspeakingofprecision.com blog.