Skip to content

ABC Members Guide to the OSHA Walkaround Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Department of Labor published a final rule clarifying the rights of employees to authorize an outside representative to accompany an OSHA compliance officer during an inspection of their workplace.

This rule will take effect on May 31st, 2024.

Here Is What You Need to Know:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives both the employer and employees the right to authorize a third-party representative to accompany OSHA officials during a workplace inspection.
  • The regulation no longer suggests that non-employee third-party representatives should be limited to individuals with formal credentials, such as safety engineers or industrial hygienists.
  • The final rule states that workers may also authorize another employee to serve as their representative or select a non-employee.
  • For a non-employee representative to accompany the inspector into a workplace, they must be reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection this is determined by the OSHA safety inspector. 

ABC conducted a webinar on this rule to help members better understand and comply. You can watch it by clicking the button below:

OIP (3)

“By allowing outside union agents access to non-union employers’ private property, OSHA is injecting itself into labor-management disputes and casting doubt on its status as a neutral enforcer of the law,” says Greg Sizemore, Associated Builders and Contractors vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “This final rule negatively impacts the rights of employers while simultaneously ignoring the rights of the majority of employees who have not authorized a union to represent them.”

Steps Employers Can Take to Prepare

In anticipation of the rule’s May 31, 2024, effective date, employers should ensure they have written procedures that clearly instruct management on receiving OSHA inspectors who wish to gain access to the jobsite. These procedures should also address how management should respond if a non-employee third party is designated as the employee representative during the inspection.  Employers with questions or concerns about OSHA’s new rule should contact their employment counsel.