The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a rule that would allow third parties to represent employees during workplace inspections. The rule, which is open for public comment until October 30, 2023, would allow employees to designate a representative from a union, a worker center, or another community organization to accompany them during OSHA walkarounds.
Currently, OSHA regulations only allow employees to designate a representative from their own employer to accompany them during walkarounds. The proposed rule would change this by allowing employees to designate any third-party representative of their choosing.
Employers may submit comments online under e-Docket ID number OSHA-2023-0008 until October 30. OSHA is specifically looking for comments on the criteria and degree of deference OSHA should give to employees’ choice of representative in determining whether a third-party can participate in an inspection. After the comment period ends, OSHA will respond to comments and possibly make revisions before publishing a final rule.