The Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify regulations regarding authorized employee representatives during Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance officer inspections.
The proposal would reaffirm the right to authorize an employee or nonemployee third party to accompany OSHA compliance officers during physical workplace inspections “if the compliance officer determines the third party is reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection,” the Labor Department said in a press release Tuesday.
The changes would also clarify third-party representatives can be any individual with helpful knowledge, including regarding particular hazards, workplace conditions, or bilingual abilities to improve communications.
OSHA is also seeking public comment on the criteria and degree of deference the agency should give to employees’ choice of representative in determining whether a third party can participate in an inspection.
The proposal, published in the Federal Register, can be commented on through Oct. 30.