The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has had a longstanding practice of issuing recordkeeping citations that go back as far as five years – the period of time during which the Form 300 injury logs must be retained by businesses. This position had been upheld by the Review Commission (OSHRC) in 1993 and, more recently, in 2011.
In Nov. 2006, OSHA issued citations to Volks Constructor for failures to record some workplace injuries between Jan. 2002 and April 2006. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit unanimously ruled to strike down these citations. The court concluded that OSHA's and OSHRC's position had subverted the statute of limitations, contradicted its "clear" wording, was inconsistent with Circuit precedent and leads to absurdities.
"If the record retention regulation in this case instead required, say, a thirty-year retention period, the Secretary’s theory would allow her to cite Volks for the original failure to record an injury thirty years after it happened," the court stated. "There is truly no end to such madness.”