National COSH Applauds OSHA’s Final “Walkaround Rule”

13 Feb 2024

For immediate release

Contact:  Roger Kerson,, 734.645.0535

National COSH applauds OSHA’s 

final “walkaround rule”

Updated federal regulations improve safety by allowing workers to choose a representative during inspections

Los Angeles – Leaders of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) said today that a final “walkaround rule” from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will improve workplace safety and reduce on-the-job hazards, by giving workers the right to a representative of their choice during safety inspections. 

“In April, we will join the U.S. and global labor movement to observe Workers’ Memorial Week, honoring millions of workers who have become sick or injured and tens of thousands who die from sudden trauma or from long-term exposures in the workplace,” said Jessica E. Martinez, co-executive director of National COSH. “By giving workers a stronger voice in inspecting their workplaces and correcting preventable hazards, OSHA’s new walkaround rule can play an important role in reducing the risk of occupational illnesses, injuries and fatalities.”

“With a trusted worker representative onsite,” said Martinez, “safety inspections can more effectively capture the first-hand knowledge workers have about work processes and potential hazards. A representative selected by workers can also bridge language barriers and reduce the fear of retaliation, which is often a major barrier in gathering accurate information about workplace conditions.+

OSHA inspections typically take place based on industry reporting related to workplace hazards, as well as complaints received by the agency. 

Under OSHA’s proposed final rule, workers in both union and non-union workplaces can select a representative of a COSH group, a workers’ center, a labor union, an attorney, an industrial hygienist or other person of their choosing to accompany an OSHA compliance officer and assist in gathering authentic information from workers.

Now that OSHA officials have reviewed public comments and issued a final rule, the next step is review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a division of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“To advance workplace safety, the walkaround rule must be approved without delay,” said Martinez. “Predictable complaints from employers about the so-called ‘high costs’ of safety regulations ring hollow when workers and their families are paying an incredibly high cost every day. When a worker loses his or her life from a hazard that could have been prevented, the price paid by their family and loved ones is far too high to calculate. 

“Creating a path for workers to participate fully in safety inspections – with proper assistance and without fear of retaliation – is one valuable way to make our jobs safer and save workers’ lives.”

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit Follow us @NationalCOSH on Facebook, @NationalCOSH onX and @NationalCOSH on Instagram.