As you'll see below, OSHA has been re-visiting and re-thinking some of its recently promulgated rules and standards. The January 24, 2017 Presidential Directive titled ‘‘Regulatory Freeze Pending Review’’ (82 FR 8346) triggered some of the actions described below. In other cases, the changes probably reflect OSHA's attempt to align with the Trump administration and its goal of reducing the regulatory burden on businesses. Recent safety and healthupdates are listed below.
- Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses: OSHA delayed the date that employers must submit electronic workplace injury and illness reports to the Agency. The July 1,2017 deadline was moved to December 1, 2017. OSHA plans to share its electronic reporting system on August 1, 2017. Note: in a separate move, OSHA announced that it may also reconsider, revise, or revoke other provisions of this rule, including the requirement to protect workers who report workplace injuries or illnesses from retaliation.
- Respirable Crystalline Silica (Construction): OSHA is delaying enforcement of its Silica in Construction Standard until September 23, 2017. In this case, the Agency believes that it needs to provide additional guidance to construction companies. This makes sense, given that the Standard is somewhat unique - namely, the employer can demonstrate that worker exposures are below the Permissible Exposure Limit by either successfully implementing the controls listed in Table1 of the Standard or by monitoring worker exposures and then independently determining which exposure controls they want to implement.
- Beryllium (Construction): OSHA proposes to revise the Beryllium Standard that was published this past January. While the Permissible Exposure Limit of 0.2 micrograms per cubic liter (µg/m3) and the Short-Term Exposure Limit of 2 µg/m3 would remain, other provisions, including exposure assessment, required methods to control exposures, and respiratory protection may be revoked.
- Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP): OSHA is seeking the public's input on ways to modify these programs in ways that increase participation and improve their effectiveness. Companies that are accepted into one of OSHA's VPPs work "cooperatively and proactively" with OSHA to improve safety at their site. You can learn more about OSHA's VPPs by going to https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/vpp/
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