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OSHA Announces Final Rule on Worker Walkaround Representative Designation

OSHA recently announced its final rule that clarifies the rights of employees to authorize a  representative to accompany an
OSHA compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) during a walkaround inspection of their workplace. The final rule was
published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2024. The rule will go into effect May 31, 2024.

Final Rule Overview
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) gives employers and employees the
right to authorize a representative to accompany OSHA officials during a workplace inspection. The final
rule clarifies that, consistent with the law, employees may authorize another employee to serve as their representative or
select a third-party nonemployee. These third-party representatives may join the CSHO during inspections if,
according to the CSHO’s judgment, there is sufficient reason to believe they can contribute to the inspection
process. OSHA states it maintains the requirement that good cause be shown that the third-party representative is
reasonably necessary to aid in the conduct of an effective and thorough physical inspection of the workplace.

The final rule also clarifies that third-party involvement may be warranted due to the third parties’ relevant expertise,
experience or language skills concerning workplace hazards or conditions. OSHA regulations require no specific qualifications
for employer or employee representatives who are employed by the employer. OSHA determined that these final rule clarifications facilitate
workplace inspections by empowering employees to choose representatives who can effectively assist the CSHO during physical inspections.

Employer Next Steps
Employers should review the new rule and allow employees to identify and select a trusted and knowledgeable representative to assist in
facilitating a CSHO’s information-gathering in case of an OSHA inspection.

From Konen Insurance May 2024 HR Brief

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