The National Roofing Contractors Association 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. This resolution repeals a regulation that 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. Res. 83, to repeal OSHA's unlawful and burdensome regulation. We look forward to
working with you to implement policies which 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 about this issue,
please contact NRCA's Washington, DC, office at (202) 546-7584.