OSHA Clarifies Employee Rights During Inspections

  • Published
  • 29 March 2024
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  • News

A final rule clarifying the rights of employees to authorize a representative to accompany an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance officer during an inspection of their workplace will be published in the Federal Register on April 1. The final rule clarifies that, consistent with the law, workers may authorize another employee to serve as their representative or select a non-employee.

For a non-employee to accompany the compliance officer, the representative must be reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection because of their skills, knowledge or experience. This experience may include familiarity with hazards or conditions in the workplace or similar workplaces, or language or communication skills to ensure an effective and thorough inspection.

These revisions better align workplace “walkarounds” with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and enable the agency to conduct more effective inspections. OSHA regulations require no specific qualifications for employer representatives or for employee representatives, officials said. The rule will take effect on May 31, 2024.