The on-again, off-again requirement to electronically submit certain OSHA forms may be on-again if the agency carries through with an item on its Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda.
OSHA intends to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in December 2021 to re-establish a rule that was enacted in 2016 but removed in January 2019.
Establishments with 250 or more employees would have to submit their OSHA 300 Log and Form 301 electronically. Currently, these businesses only have to submit Form 300A.
The Obama administration established the rule, only for much of it to be withdrawn by the Trump White House. It appears OSHA under President Biden wants to restore the full reporting requirement.
Several more priorities
Among the other proposals in the Regulatory Agenda expected to reach the NPRM stage in 2021 or 2022:
- Infectious Disease Standard (NRPM December 2021): Workplaces where this proposed rule would apply include health care, emergency response, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, drug treatment programs and other settings where employees can be at increased risk of exposure to potentially infectious people.
- Updated Hazard Communication Standard (public hearing scheduled Sept. 21, 2021): An NPRM was issued in February 2021. OSHA wants to update to a more recent version of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
- Lockout/Tagout Update (NPRM April 2022): Technical advances in computer-based LO/TO controls conflict with OSHA’s current LO/TO standard. As a result, the agency has received an increasing number of requests for variances to the current rule.
- Silica – Revisions to Table 1 in the Standard for Construction (NPRM April 2022). This would resolve questions about control measures not currently included in Table 1.
- Silica – Revisions to Medical Surveillance Provisions for Medical Removal Protection (NPRM March 2022): The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. said OSHA failed to adequately explain why it omitted medical removal protections from the rule and remanded it for consideration.
- Powered Industrial Truck Standard Update (NPRM expected soon): OSHA proposes to update its reference to ANSI B56.1-1969 to include the latest version of ANSI/ITSDF B56.1a-2018.
- Walking Working Surfaces Update (NPRM comment period ends July 19, 2021): This would correct an error in Table D-2, revise the language in the requirement for stair rail systems and clear up other provisions of the rule that was issued in 2016.
There would also be work on new standards for Communication Tower Safety (NPRM March 2022) and a Tree Care Standard (NPRM April 2022).
In the Prerule stage (which means development of a standard would be years away) are an update of the Process Safety Management Standard, creation of a Prevention of Workplace Violence in Health Care and Social Assistance Standard, and development of a Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings Standard.