American Tort Reform Assoc. v. OSHA, et al., No. 12-1229 (D.C. Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
ATRA petitioned for review, challenging revisions made by OSHA to the wording of a paragraph (a)(2) of OSHA's hazard communication (HazCom) standard, 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200. HazCom establishes labeling requirements for chemicals used in the workplace. The changes reflect the agency's view that HazCom preempts state legislative and regulatory requirements, but not state tort claims. The court rejected ATRA's arguments under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), 29 U.S.C. 651-678, concluding that OSHA has no authority to speak with the force of law on preemption and the agency never meant for the disputed paragraph to have the effect of a legislative rule. Because Paragraph (a)(2) is merely interpretive, it is not subject to notice and comment rulemaking and was not subject to judicial review. Accordingly, ATRA's challenge was unripe for review. Accordingly, the court denied the petition for review.