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NRCA Supports H.J. Res. 83

Feb. 24, 2017

To All Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Representative:

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) supports H.J. Resolution 83, a Resolution of Disapproval to repeal a regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to lengthen the statute of limitations for recordkeeping violations. NRCA urges you to support the resolution because the regulation does nothing to improve workplace safety and is an egregious example of regulatory abuse and overreach. Congress must reassert its authority to reign in overzealous regulators by repealing this unlawful regulation and pave the way for future efforts to improve workplace safety.

Established in 1886, NRCA is one of the nation's oldest trade associations and the voice of professional roofing contractors worldwide. NRCA has about 3,500 contractors in all 50 states who are typically small, privately held companies with the average member employing 45 people and attaining sales of about $4.5 million per year. One of NRCA's core objectives is to promote worker health and safety in the roofing industry, and it has developed numerous roofing safety-related publications, programs and training materials that are used to advance workplace safety.

In December 2016, OSHA issued a final regulation to extend the statute of limitations on recordkeeping violations from six months, as set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, to five years. This regulation was issued despite the fact that, in a case known as Volks, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the requirement for employers to make, keep and preserve records of occupational injuries and illnesses does not authorize OSHA to cite an employer for failing to make and maintain records beyond the six-month statute of limitations specified. In his concurring opinion on the ruling, Judge Merrick Garland said OSHA's rationale for the five-year statute of limitations "is not reasonable."

Having lost in court, OSHA subsequently attempted to achieve its goal with a new regulation that is contrary to the plain text of the underlying statute, which specifies a six-month statute of limitations on citations. When the regulation was originally proposed, NRCA filed comments with OSHA noting the proposal was inconsistent with the OSH Act and, therefore, the agency does not have the authority to issue the regulation. Moreover, NRCA believes there are no safety benefits that will result from the regulation. The new authority merely provides opportunities for OSHA to cite employers for paperwork violations long after the occurrence of the incident in question. NRCA's comments urged OSHA to withdraw the proposed rule, but the agency nevertheless went forward with issuing the final regulation in the final weeks of the Obama administration.

Given the regulation does nothing to improve workplace safety and could be used to impose costs on employers for inadvertent paperwork violations, NRCA urges Congress to repeal the regulation under the terms of the Congressional Review Act. NRCA believes repeal of this regulation is needed to send a clear message to agency officials that the best approach to improving workplace safety is a cooperative partnership in which industry stakeholders, agency officials and Congress work together to employ best practices based on state-of-the-art risk management principles. NRCA looks forward to returning to this approach to improving workplace safety once the regulation is repealed.

Again, NRCA urges you to support H.J. Resolution 83 when it comes before the full House for a vote to repeal OSHA's unlawful and burdensome regulation. We look forward to working with you to implement policies that improve workplace safety while giving entrepreneurs the flexibility to grow their businesses and create high-paying jobs. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact NRCA's Washington, D.C., office at (202) 546-7584.

Click here to view a PDF of this letter.


Dennis Conway
Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas
NRCA Chairman of the Board

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