A proposed revision of OSHA’s silica standard is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to regulatory change the agency wants to make in the next 12 months.
OSHA recently released its Fall 2013 regulatory agenda, listing its priorities for enacting new and revised regulations.
The changes to the silica standard include lowering the permissible exposure limit from 100 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 50 µg/m3. The extended comment period on that proposal ends Jan. 27, 2014. The rule could be finalized later in 2014.
The next proposal to see a final rule is scheduled to be revisions to OSHA’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment standard. According to the reg agenda, OSHA plans to issue that final rule soon.
Other upcoming final rules include:
- Confined spaces in construction (February 2014)
- Injury and illness recording and reporting requirements: updating exempt industries and the rules for reporting fatalities and injuries within a certain time period (April 2014), and
- Walking working surfaces and personal fall protection systems: slips, trips and fall prevention update (June 2014).
OSHA also plans to release notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) for several regulations in the next 12 months, including:
- Cranes and derricks: operator certification (December 2013)
- Clarification of employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness (March 2014)
- Occupational exposure to beryllium (April 2014), and
- Injury and Illness Prevention Program (September 2014).
Some other notable planned action on proposed new and revised regulations:
- In accordance with President Obama’s Executive Order, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, OSHA intends to issue a Request for Information (RFI) regarding process safety management and prevention of major chemical accidents. The RFI will identify issues related to modernization of the Process Safety Management standard and related standards necessary to meet the goal of preventing major chemical accidents.
- OSHA will close the comment period on its recent proposal to revise injury and illness reporting on Feb. 6, 2014.
- OSHA proposes to issue a direct final rule on states with their own occupational safety agencies in January 2014. The purpose of this revision is to eliminate the requirement to engage in the rulemaking process to make changes to a state plan’s jurisdiction.
- The agency also proposes to update its regulations on eye and face protection to match current national consensus standards.