The U.S. Department of Labor has a new rule that clarifies an employee’s right to representation during OSHA inspections. Supporters say the purpose is to ensure fair and objective inspections that enhance workplace safety, but it remains controversial for a number of reasons, said RC Legal Insights Expert Trent Cotney.

The final rule clarifies that workers may authorize another employee to serve as their representative or select a non-employee. 

“It’s controversial because it allows a third party, even a non-employee, to participate in the walkaround if the OSHA inspector deems it beneficial for purposes of the investigation,” said Cotney, partner with Adams & Reese, in this brief video chat with RC.

“This raises a whole host of issues, everything from liability to maintaining trade secrets and proprietary information that might be on jobsites.”

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