OSHA Announces the Regulatory Priorities for 2014
Now is the perfect time to look at the upcoming OSHA regulations that are on the docket for 2014. On Nov. 26, the federal government released its fall 2013 semiannual regulatory agenda, which outlines the regulatory actions that each agency, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, intends to pursue and includes projected timelines for the completion of key elements in the rulemaking process.
|OSHA anticipates several new final rules in 2014, as well as progress on moving proposed rules closer to implementation. Initiatives addressed in the regulatory agenda include:
|Confined spaces in construction
A final rule is expected February 2014
|Occupational injury and illness recording and
OSHA plans to revise industry and employer reporting requirements for the occurrence of fatalities and injuries that require hospitalization. A final rule is scheduled for April 2014.
|Slips and Falls—Personal Fall Protective Systems
OSHA has a final rule awaiting action by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that will incorporate personal fall protection systems into the existing general industry rule for Walking and Working Surfaces (29 CFR 1910.23) that reflects new technologies. The final rule is expected in June 2014.
|Electric power transmission and distribution
A final rule awaiting action by the OMB would update requirements for foot protection and aerial lift fall protection for electrical installations.
|OSHA proposed rules moving forward in 2014, including:
Under a proposal, certain employers would be required to submit injury and illness recordkeeping data electronically.
|Injury and illness prevention plan (I2P2)
OSHA is shaping a proposed rule that would require employers to develop a formal program to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses through a systematic process that proactively addresses workplace safety and health hazards. A notice of proposed rulemaking is expected in September 2014.
|Occupational exposure to respirable
A proposal published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2013, would establish a new limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Hearings on the proposal are scheduled to begin on March 18, 2014.
New rules have been proposed to establish consistent and transparent procedures for filing whistleblower complaints.
|Cranes and derricks in construction
The agency plans to address operator certification and other issues moving into 2014.
|A number of regulations are in the pre-rule stage or are at various levels of review:
The review will consider the continued need for the rule; whether the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, or local regulations; and the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors may have changed since the rule was evaluated.
OSHA is considering a standard that would require employers to establish a comprehensive infection control program.
|Reinforced Concrete in Construction and
Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities
OSHA has requested information on two subjects, 1) preventing backover injuries; and 2) hazards and risks of reinforcing concrete operations in construction, including post-tensioning. Additionally, OSHA says current rules may not adequately address the hazards and has held stakeholder meetings to discuss emerging technologies that address the risks of backing operations.
Rulemaking to develop a combustible dust standard for general industry has begun, but no proposal has been issued.
In addition, OSHA continues to review its chemical standards. The majority of existing permissible exposure limits (PELs) were adopted in 1971, and only a few have been updated since that time.
Click here to read the Fall 2013 Regulatory Agenda, which includes all of OSHA’s rulemaking priorities, as well as the status of rules from other agencies under the Department of Labor.
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