What new and updated OSHA regulations will companies face in 2011 and beyond?
The agency has published its semi-annual regulatory agenda. Here’s the scoop:
- OSHA wanted to add a column to injury logs for musculoskeletal disorders, also referred to as ergonomic injuries. Companies were to start using the new column on 1/1/11, but now OSHA says a final rule won’t be ready until February.
- OSHA has committed to updating its Hazard Communication Standard by adopting the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Countries in the European Union have adopted the GHS into their national regulatory systems. The regulatory agenda lists August 2011 for final action on this issue.
- The rule to protect employees who enter confined spaces applies only to general industry and not to construction. OSHA plans to have the confined spaces in construction standard finalized in May 2011.
- OSHA is considering the need for regulations to address the risk to workers exposed to infectious diseases in health care and other high-risk environments.
- The agency is also moving forward with a regulation to require companies to develop their own Injury and Illness Prevention Programs.
- Work on a standard to address employee exposures to crystalline silica continues, and
- To target one of the most serious hazards that construction workers face, OSHA is proposing to address worker exposures to the dangers when heavy equipment backs up. Half of the fatalities involving construction equipment occur while equipment is backing up.