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OSHA Issues Final Rule On Employee Representation During Inspection

admin  -   09:06 am  -   April 09th, 2024

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule, effective May 31, 2024, allowing employees to authorize a representative to accompany an OSHA compliance officer during an inspection of their workplace.

According to OSHA, the final rule clarifies that workers may authorize another employee to serve as their representative or select a non-employee. For a non-employee representative to accompany the compliance officer in a workplace, the representative must be reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection.

OSHA further states the rule clarifies that a non-employee representative may be reasonably necessary based upon skills, knowledge or experience. This experience may include knowledge or experience with hazards or conditions in the workplace or similar workplaces, or language or communication skills to ensure an effective and thorough inspection. OSHA regulations require no specific qualifications for employer representatives or for employee representatives who are employed by the employer.

A previous court decision had held the agency’s existing regulation, 29 CFR 1903.8(c), only permitted employees of the employer to be authorized as representatives. This new rule allows non-employee representatives as well to accompany an agency inspector in the workplace.