NAM and other business groups seek changes to OSHA regulation roll back

The Trump administration has proposed loosening some regulations that burdened employers with an increased amount of detail in workplace incident reports. But employers want OSHA to make more changes to the agency’s July 30 proposal to undo other regulations related to drug testing and safety incentive programs.

OSHA’s current regulations prohibit some safety programs that provide incentives when a workplace does not have reported injuries for a certain period of time. For example, a plant that provides a bonus if the plant does not have reportable injuries for six months, could run afoul of the current regulations. While plant management understands the importance of these incentive plans, some believe the incentive plans could cause injuries that otherwise would be reported to OSHA to not be reported. If properly structured, such incentive plans can be used to properly raise awareness of safety regulations on the shop floor and increase workplace safety.

Two federal lawsuits by the NAM and the U.S. Chamber regarding the regulations have been on hold for the past year awaiting the final draft of changes to the regulations.

“While we understand we do not want to provide a disincentive to report injuries, discouraging programs that encourage workers to make safety a priority is counterproductive,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “We believe there should be a way to refine these regulations to allow such programs,” he said.