OSHA proposes change to walkaround rule
August 31, 2023
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a rule change that would allow authorized representatives, including union officials or employee advocates, to accompany OSHA compliance officers during worksite safety inspections, even if they have no direct involvement with the project. OSHA argues that this change will improve inspections by providing workers with representation and facilitating the collection of essential information about workplace safety. However, some contractor groups, such as the Associated Builders and Contractors, oppose the change, expressing concerns about potential disruptions, biased representatives, and the injection of labor-management disputes into OSHA inspections. This proposed rule aims to align OSHA's interpretation of its authority with its pre-2017 stance, before a court case altered its approach.