In safety news:

To address a 2012 court decision stemming from a Louisiana company, OSHA has proposed a rule to clarify that it can assess up to five years worth of an employer’s injury records and issue penalties if they are incomplete. According to a Safety News Alert report, the dispute resulting in the new rule involved Volks Constructors of Prairieville, LA. OSHA had fined Volks $13,300 for failing to properly record workplace injuries and maintain its injury log between January 2002 and April 2006. OSHA issued the citations in November 2006. Volks appealed because OSHA rules only allow the agency to issue citations for up to six months following the occurrence of any violation. OSHA counter-argued that its regulations require companies to save injury documentation for five years from the end of the calendar year the records cover, but a federal appeals court upheld the 6 month statute of limitations. The decision cites the fact that OSHA fined Volks for failing to create a record in the first place when they should have fined the company for loss or destruction of the records as a major reason for the outcome.

Read the OSHA bulletin on the proposed rule here. Read analysis from Safety News Alert here. Read the Volks decision here.

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