By Eric Conn, Head of the OSHA Practice Group

We recently had an article published by the Washington Legal Foundation entitled “OSHA Continues Trend of Informally Imposing New Rules.”  The article expanded on an earlier post here on the OSHA Law Update Blog regarding OSHA’s attempts to circumvent Formal Notice and Comment Rulemaking by changing regulatory requirements through interpretation letters, directives, and enforcement memoranda.  Here is a link to the original post.

Below is an excerpt from the expanded article, published this week in Washington Legal Foundation’s Legal Opinion Newsletter:

On June 2, 2012, an Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could not lawfully expand an existing safety standard through an enforcement memorandum. The decision, which OSHA declined to appeal, was an important one for regulated entities and for those who advocate for clarity and transparency in the regulatory process. Regretfully, the victory may be short lived, since OSHA has already issued other citations based upon the same expanded interpretation from the same enforcement memo.

Click here to download the full article as a PDF. Used by permission from the Washington Legal Foundation, Vol. 21 No. 20.