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OSHA issues final rule on worker walkarounds, legal challenge expected

By Brock Huffstutler

April 7, 2024

On April 1, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule on its “Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process.”

The rule allows employees to designate nonemployees as their representative during facility walkarounds with OSHA compliance safety and health officers.

In a statement, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) — to which the American Rental Association belongs — condemned the rule.

“OSHA’s final rule allows individuals with an agenda against the employer — including unions that have not convinced the workers to obtain their representation — to infiltrate the workplace and obtain proprietary information or information about the employer and/or workers,” said Kristen Swearingen, CDW chair.

Swearingen also noted other grievances CDW has surrounding the rule, including OSHA’s broadened definition of who can qualify as an authorized representative and the absence of a limitation on the number of representatives that can participate in walkarounds. Click here to read CDW’s full statement on the rule.

The effective date for OSHA’s final rule on its “Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process” is May 31, 2024. Swearingen said CDW expects a legal challenge to the rule, in which case the organization plans to file an amicus brief with the court to state its concerns.