Decision Drastically Expands OSHA’s Power to Punish Recordkeeping Violation


Employers hoping to “run out” the statute of limitations on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping violations may now have a lot farther to run.

A recent Occupational Safety Health Review Commission (the Commission) decision effectively stretches the statute of limitations for OSHA recordkeeping violations from six months to five years or more, and may prevent employers from claiming that recordkeeping violations older than six months are “stale” or “untimely.” See Secretary of Labor v. AKM LLC d/b/a Volks Constructors, OSHRC No. 06-1990, 2011 WL 896347 (OSHRC, March 11, 2011). The decision drastically increases employers’ exposure to OSHA citations and fines, and raises troubling issues of due process for employers. In light of this ruling, employers should review and revise record retention policies to account for OSHA’s expanded enforcement reach.

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