On March 29, OSHA announced a final rule clarifying the rights of employees to authorize a representative to accompany an Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance officer during an inspection of their workplace. 

According to the announcement, employees can authorize another employee or non-employee to act as their representative and accompany OSHA officials during workplace inspections. If the representative is a non-employee, they must be "reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough investigation." Non-employees should have experience, knowledge or skills which may be necessary to the investigation. 

Examples include: 

  • Knowledge or experience with hazards or conditions in the workplace or similar workplaces
  • Language or communication skills to ensure an effective and thorough inspection

Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Doug Parker, stated, "The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives employers and employees equal opportunity for choosing representation during the OSHA inspection process, and this rule returns us to the fair, balanced approach Congress intended."

The rule is effective on May 31, 2024.

Laura Radke, MD
About the Author

Dr. Radke serves as Senior Medical Director of Workforce Health Occupational Health Services. She has a distinguished career in occupational medicine, having served in a variety of clinical and leadership roles.

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