As part of President Obama’s executive order to simplify federal standards and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, OSHA has announced some changes.
Without reducing employee protection, these changes will result in annual cost savings to employers of more than $43 million and significant reduction in paperwork, according to OSHA.
Among the changes:
- The new rule will result in several changes to OSHA’s existing respiratory protection standard, including aligning air cylinder testing requirements for self-contained breathing apparatuses with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, clarifying that aftermarket cylinders meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health quality assurance requirements and clarifying that the provisions of Appendix D, which contains information for employees using respirators when not required under the standard, are mandatory if the employee chooses to use a respirator.
- Other changes to result from the new rule will include updating the definition of the term “potable water” to be consistent with the current EPA standards instead of the former and outdated Public Health Service Corps definition, removing the outdated requirement that hand dryers use warm air because new technology allows employers to use hand-drying products that do not involve hot or warm air and removing two medical record requirements from the commercial-diving standard because that standard no longer requires medical examinations.
- Updates also will include deleting a number of requirements for employers to transmit exposure and medical records to NIOSH, thus saving National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) significant costs to store and maintain the records. According to NIOSH, these records did not serve a useful research purpose. The slings standards also will be updated and streamlined by requiring that employers use only slings marked with manufacturers’ loading information.
So here’s the question after you’ve read these changes: Do any of them reduce the burden of federal government regulation on your company? Are there specific regulations you hope OSHA will address in the future to reduce regulatory burden? Let us know in the Comments Box below.