Enforcement and Inspection

New OSHA Regulatory Agenda Suggests Change in Direction

OSHA has been actively pursuing a regulation requiring employers to establish an injury and illness prevention plan (I2P2). But the agency’s latest regulatory agenda suggests a change in direction.

Although I2P2 plans are the law in many states, federal OSHA has not yet required that employers establish formal written I2P2 plans to find and fix workplace hazards under penalty of enforcement. As recently as last fall, OSHA expressed support for a regulation and anticipated a notice of proposed rulemaking would be forthcoming in September. But in its most recent regulatory agenda, OSHA moved the I2P2 into its “long-term action” category. Although this doesn’t mean an end to the initiative, it does suggest a change in direction, according to attorney Tressi Cordaro, a shareholder with Jackson Lewis in Washington, D.C. Cordaro, who specializes in OSHA matters, believes the change reflects shifting priorities and limited resources. “My take on it, and that of other attorneys I’ve talked to, is that it’s more of a bandwidth issue.” According to the current regulatory agenda, OSHA plans to announce three final rules between now and October: changes to reporting and recordkeeping rules, confined space in construction, and walking/working surfaces in general industry. As well, the agenda shows that OSHA anticipates issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking this month on occupational exposure to beryllium.

Great news! BLR’s renowned Safety.BLR.com® website now has even more time-saving features. Take our no-cost site tour! Or better yet, try it at no cost or obligation for a full 2 weeks.

OSHA Trying to Get a Lot In “They’re trying to get a lot in, and to me it comes down to a lack of staffing to move forward on the rest of the agenda. They’ve prioritized and moved I2P2 to the back burner for now.” Cordaro believes that by moving recordkeeping, confined space, and walking/working surfaces ahead of I2P2, OSHA has made a decision to focus on existing rulemakings and see them through to final rule status before starting a new rulemaking on injury prevention. OSHA has also been addressing the subject of cell phone tower safety and has been encouraging employers to use best practices to stem the recent tide of fatalities. Requesting information for a possible standard should put affected employers on notice, says Cordaro. She adds, “As an employment attorney, I strongly recommend that once the request for information is put out, those that are affected provide the agency with information they’re asking for so that a rule is developed based on accurate facts.” Cordaro calls the current regulatory agenda “aggressive” and expresses doubt as to whether OSHA will be able to meet all deadlines for final rules as indicated. She points to a final rule on electric power generation and transmission that was published in April, but had been expected last November.

Your one-stop safety management resource, available 24/7. Go here to take a no-cost site tour or here to try it in your own office!

Stay on Top of Developments Whatever regulatory changes OSHA proposes in the months ahead, you’ll be able to stay on top of all the latest developments 24/7 with Safety.BLR.com. Whether it’s changes in OSHA standards, enforcement initiatives, news about workplace safety hot topics, or some other vital safety and health issue, you’ll find it all reported and interpreted for you by our safety experts at Safety.BLR.com. What’s more, this one-stop safety website is a fantastic resource for safety training materials on just about any topic you can imagine. Training responsibilities become a snap with the website’s thousands of audio presentations, PowerPoints, prewritten safety meetings, toolbox talks, trainer’s guides, and much, much more. You’ll find training tools on more than 120 safety topics along with plain-English compliance analysis and other resources. At a time when budget considerations are paramount, what makes more sense than an all-in-one safety training and compliance solution? And BLR has revamped Safety.BLR.com to meet your needs even better. You’ll be amazed by all the features and functionality of the site. Highlights include:

  • Side-by-Side State/Federal Compliance. By placing our state and federal regulatory analysis side by side, you easily see how to fully comply with both governmental entities.
  • MSDS Library Expansion. The site now provides an immense library of 3.5 million MSDS and SDS forms, with about 10,000 more added or changed every week. Need one? Just call up the chemical by name, manufacturer, product group, or CAS number, then print it out.
  • Newsletter Wizard. If you’ve ever wanted to publish a safety newsletter but felt lacking in editorial skills, this new addition is for you.
  • Plan Builder. Select from our library of safety plans, customize them to suit your company’s needs, and assemble them into collections you can save in our personal library.

We’re pretty excited about Safety.BLR.com and all of its enhancements, and we’re eager for you to experience it, too. That’s why we’ve created a complimentary site tour, available here. It takes just 5 minutes. If you like what you see, you’re invited to try the site at no cost and with no obligation. We’ll even give you a complimentary special report for doing so. Go here to take a 5-minute tour of Safety.BLR.com. It may be just what you’re looking for.