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President Trump Overturns OSHA’s Ongoing Recordkeeping Rule

President Donald Trump recently signed a resolution that overturned a final recordkeeping rule from OSHA. According to the agency, the rule was meant to clarify that employers must maintain work-related injury and illness records throughout a five-year storage period, and did not create any additional requirements. However, critics of the rule argued that it allowed OSHA to unlawfully issue citations to businesses up to five years after an incident, provided the violation was related to recordkeeping.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) that governs OSHA does not allow for a citation to be issued more than six months after the occurrence of a violation. Despite this, OSHA’s final rule stated that the agency considers all recordkeeping violations to exist until they are corrected. For example, if a recordkeeping violation first began on Feb. 1 and was corrected on May 15, OSHA would have had until Nov. 15 to issue a citation under its final rule.

This development is the latest step in the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses. Since Trump took office, OSHA has delayed its new beryllium exposure rule until May 20, and has also announced that it is currently not ready to accept electronic injury and illness data for its electronic reporting rule. However, you still need to be aware of your ongoing OSHA requirements. Although OSHA’s recordkeeping rule has been rescinded, employers are still required to maintain their injury and illness records for five years. Contact us at (916) 380-5300 for help staying in compliance with OSHA standards.

Filed under: OSHA,Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:10 pm May 22, 2017


Work Visa Program Under Federal Review

The Trump administration has ordered a review of the H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in positions that require specialized knowledge. Although the review will not change existing rules for the visas, the Trump administration has expressed interest in changing the approval process from a lottery to a merit-based system.

Currently, H-1B visas are used mainly by technology companies to fill roles that require an extensive background in science, engineering or computer programming. However, critics of the program believe that it’s also used by outsourcing firms to flood the system with applications for lower-paid information positions, which takes work away from Americans.

The Trump administration has yet to set a timeline for changes to the H1-B program. However, Trump has stated that the visas should only go to the most skilled and highest-paid foreign applicants, and never be used to replace Americans.

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:10 pm May 17, 2017


Autonomous Vehicles Could Eliminate Up to 4 Million Jobs

A new report from the Center for Global Policy Solutions suggests that as many as 4 million employees nationwide may soon lose their jobs due to the adoption of autonomous vehicles.

Unlike normal vehicles that are operated by human drivers, autonomous vehicles use advanced sensors to monitor the road and can run without mandated stops for rest and sleep. And, if commercial drivers are replaced by these vehicles in the near future, it could cause an economic ripple effect in regions that rely on commercial transportation.

More than 30 automakers and technology companies are currently working on autonomous vehicle technology, including Ford, General Motors, Tesla, Google and Uber. As a result, the technology is advancing rapidly, and many companies have already acquired licenses to test their vehicles on public highways. However, some experts believe that state and federal regulators will delay the widespread adoption of commercialized autonomous vehicles.

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:15 pm May 10, 2017


Auto Insurance Prices Likely to Keep Rising

Most lines of insurance cycle between soft and hard markets over a number of years, which has a direct impact on the price of insurance. The auto insurance market is currently hardening after many years of a soft market, which has resulted in higher prices for both commercial and personal auto policies.

Between 2011 and 2016, competition between auto insurance carriers created a soft, buyer-friendly market. Since then, however, the high cost of claims and increasing costs of vehicle repairs have contributed to a noticeable transition in the market.

Contact Warren G. Bender Co. today. We can provide you with resources to help you understand and save on auto insurance, including our new article, “Coverage Insights – The Hardening Auto Insurance Market.”

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:22 pm May 3, 2017


Spring Allergy Alleviation

Springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. Mold growth increases due to rain and many plants begin releasing pollen. Likewise, spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites.

To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:
• Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
• Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
• Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
• Vacuum twice a week.
• Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
• Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
• Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Filed under: Health & Wellness — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:47 pm April 19, 2017