OSHA Walkaround Rule advances to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)

Posted By: Jerrod Weaver Government Affairs, Health & Safety,

graphic illustration OSHA On February 9, 2024, OSHA submitted its Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process final rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget for final review. The rule would allow employees to choose a third-party representative, such as an outside union representative or community activist, to accompany an OSHA inspector into facilities during inspection activities. 

OIRA review is usually the final step before a rule is officially published in the Federal Register. OIRA has up to 90 days (which can be extended) to review a rule. This review helps to promote adequate interagency review of draft proposed and final regulatory actions, so that such actions are coordinated with other agencies to avoid inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative policies. Therefore, it is anticipated that the final rule could be published sometime late this spring.

On September 21, 2023, NFFS joined the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS) and 73 other organizations in sending a letter to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health requesting a 60-day extension to the comment period on the agency's notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process. That request for extension was ultimately granted by the Agency.

On October 19, 2023, NFFS submitted written comments in opposition to the proposed rule within the 60-day extension period. NFFS also signed on to comments submitted by the Coalition for Workplace Safety on the same rule. Read CWS’s press release.

The NFFS Government Affairs Committee will continue to track the rule and provide updates to the members as they become available.