Employers File a Lawsuit in Protest of OSHA’s New Injury Reporting Rule

February 23, 2017

On January 1, 2017, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new rule that required employers to electronically submit injury and illness data is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.

The lawsuit was filed on January 4th, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma claiming that the OSHA rule, “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” is “arbitrary, capricious, and otherwise contrary to law,” and that it violates both the first and fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

OSHA issued the rule to improve safety for workers throughout the country. Their hope (according to a release on their website), is that making injury and illness information public, it will force employers to pay more attention to safety, which could potentially save lives, avoid injuries and save employers money. OSHA also hoped to improve the accuracy of the data by removing employee’s fear of retaliation for reporting work-related injuries and illness.

The plaintiffs allege that the database exceeds OSHA’s record-keeping authority. The organizations included in the lawsuit have expressed concern about employers’ requirement to offer detailed injury and illness report summaries which will be available for public viewing, and they argue that OSHA does not have the authority to require businesses to comply with such a rule, which the plaintiffs say will impose “significant reputational harm.”

Given that the lawsuit was filed at the end of the term of the leadership of OSHA, which was then replaced by the incoming administration’s appointees. It is up to the new leadership to decide whether to fight for the new rule.

Often, workplace injuries are hidden from the public, so consumers who purchase the goods and services of the companies in this country have no idea about how often or how severely workers suffer injuries and contract deadly illnesses in the process of bringing goods to market.

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, and you have reported the injury to your employer and filed a workers’ compensation claim, you might want to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable, Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney who can advise you about your case and make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to receive.

When you have been injured at work or you are suffering from an occupational disease, a knowledgeable Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at the law firm of Larry Pitt & Associates is prepared to represent your interests and fight for the compensation you are entitled to. Please contact us or call 888.PITT.LAW to schedule a consultation. We serve Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.