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National COSH hails new ‘walkaround rule’ for safety inspections

DCN-JOC News Services
National COSH hails new ‘walkaround rule’ for safety inspections

LOS ANGELES – Leaders of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) are praising an updated federal regulation that allows workers to choose a representative during safety inspections.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule will allow workers in both union and non-union workplaces to select a representative of a COSH group, a workers’ center, a labor union, an attorney, an industrial hygienist or other person of their choosing to accompany an OSHA compliance officer and assist in gathering authentic information from workers, a release states.

“In April, we will join the U.S. and global labor movement to observe Workers’ Memorial Week, honoring and tens of thousands who or from . By giving workers a stronger voice in inspecting their workplaces and correcting preventable hazards, OSHA’s new walkaround rule can play an important role in reducing the risk of occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities,” National COSH co-executive director Jessica Martinez said in a statement.

“With a trusted worker representative onsite, safety inspections can more effectively capture the first-hand knowledge workers have about work processes and potential hazards. A representative selected by workers can also bridge language barriers and reduce the fear of retaliation, which is often a major barrier in gathering accurate information about workplace conditions.”

OSHA inspections typically take place based on industry reporting related to workplace hazards as well as complaints received by the agency, the release said.

The next step now that OSHA has reviewed public comments and issued a final rule is a review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a division of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

“To advance workplace safety, the walkaround rule must be approved without delay. Predictable complaints from employers about the so-called ‘high costs’ of safety regulations ring hollow when workers and their families are paying an incredibly high cost every day. When a worker loses his or her life from a hazard that could have been prevented, the price paid by their family and loved ones is far too high to calculate,” Martinez said.


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