The following is a statement from UAW President Dennis Williams regarding today’s passage of S.J. Res. 27 Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to “Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness.”
In a slap to the face of American workers, the Senate vote today to rollback workplace protections that have existed for over forty years.
This bill puts workers’ lives and well-being at great risk. It recklessly eliminates common sense, long standing recordkeeping policies that simply required large employers in hazardous industries to keep their health and safety records for five years. I urge President Trump to side with American workers by vetoing this terrible bill.
Under S.J. Res. 27, large employers in dangerous industries can destroy their Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records after just 6 months. The records are used by OSHA, employers, and workers to identify hazardous conditions and take corrective action to prevent future injuries and exposures. Without adequate data, it will be extremely difficult to identify and fix hazards and incident patterns that could cause illnesses, severe injuries, or even deaths on the job. Please note, the regulations this bill overturns do not impose any new costs or obligations on employers.
OSHA is understaffed and only able to inspect workplaces once every 145 years (on average). It relies on the records to recognize and fix problems in dangerous workplaces. Without adequate records, important efforts to make our workplaces safer will be hampered. S.J. Res. 27 effectively gives license for unethical employers to take short cuts by hiding injuries, falsify injury records, and violating the law.
UAW members have a long history of securing workplace protections for all of America’s workers. This bill takes us in the wrong direction and undermines more than 40 years of solid science and practice.
Again, in the interest of the health and safety of American workers, I urge President Trump to veto this legislation.