Monday, June 22, 2015

OSHA Compliance Officers to Collect Employer Data During Inspections

On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, the purpose of which is to ensure that employers who contract with the federal government worth more than $500,000 are compliant with various labor laws, and that employers who are not complaint are not awarded federal contracts. This means employers may find OSHA compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) asking for additional information during the course of an OSHA inspection.

According to a recent memorandum, this change marks “the first time that the DOL and other federal agencies will have access to the labor law compliance record of employers bidding on government contracts.” The memorandum also instructs CSHOs to request additional data from employers during OSHA inspections. According to the agency, the information is "necessary to provide a unified means of identifying companies on a government-wide database." CSHOs may collect information at any time during the inspection and if it is not available, they should note that, as well as if it was unknown or did not exist.

The information will be entered into the OSHA Information System and transferred nightly to a new central DOL data repository. Employers should note that if they cannot provide the information, the inspection should proceed as normal and that their inability to provide the information will not have an adverse impact on inspection findings.