People inspecting a construction site

Approximately 9 months ago, Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) published an article addressing a proposed rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) signifying that an employee can authorize a non-employee third party to accompany them in an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection “if the compliance officer determines the third party is reasonably necessary to conduct an effective and thorough inspection.” 

Previously only employees or other experts were allowed. On March 29, 2024, the DOL issued its final rule. The concern with the new rule is that the changes may allow union representatives and other representatives outside of the prior limited scope. 

The DOL states that for a non-employee, “the representative may be reasonably necessary based upon skills, knowledge or experience.” However, the DOL hones in on the representation issue stating, “The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives employers and employees equal opportunity for choosing representation during the OSHA inspection process, and this rule returns us to the fair, balanced approach Congress intended.”

Just know that the changes do potentially allow a Union into your establishment whether or not your employees are already represented or not. For those employers that are not currently unionized, this may be a step for the union in being able to start an organizing campaign. For this reason, among others, OSHA and any others attending the inspection, should not be allowed to roam the facility without management being there.

If you want to ensure that proper practices, systems, and policies are in place or you need Human Resources expertise on this item or others, we can help you.  Contact SWHRC today at the link above to find out more about our services and our team of experts.

Magdalena Vigil-Tullar

Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar


Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email:

PO Box 14274 | Albuquerque, NM 87191

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