Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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OSHA workplace injury reporting rule rolled back

With all of the sound and fury in today's political world, some noteworthy items get scant media attention. One of those items: a recent decision by Congress to undo a federal workplace injury reporting requirement that had been enacted late last year.

The U.S. Senate and House passed a resolution that reverses the order by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that stretched the period employers could face fines for not keeping records of workplace accidents and injuries. The Obama administration had stretched the record-keeping requirement from six months to five years.

Opponents of the measure said it was an "an unlawful power grab" by OSHA. Advocates said the federal agency had long required employers to keep records for five years, so that the rule changed little and added no new expense for businesses.

In a 2012 D.C. Circuit court decision, OSHA's record-keeping requirement had been rejected. The agency then revised the rule, finalizing the adjustment in December. OSHA said at the time that the rule didn't add new regulatory obligations to businesses.

Opponents said that on the contrary, the rule added to business burdens while doing little to improve worker safety.

Hopefully, everyone can agree that when a worker is injured on the job, he or she should receive prompt medical care. When the injury or illness forces an employee to miss time from the job, they should also have a portion of their wages replaced according to North Carolina workers' compensation law.

To appeal a denied workers' comp claim, speak to a Charlotte attorney experienced in effective appeals.

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