Regulatory Developments

Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda: OSHA Prioritizes Silica, Recordkeeping Updates

OSHA’s recently released fall 2015 regulatory agenda outlines the status of the agency’s currently pending prerules, proposed rules, and final rules. While most of the items on the fall 2015 list are holdovers from previous regulatory agendas, the Department of Labor (DOL) identified two major rulemaking efforts, both in the final rule stage, as top areas of focus for 2016.

The first is occupational exposure to crystalline silica, which the Department of Labor (DOL) highlighted as OSHA’s top priority in the preamble to the latest agenda. OSHA is aiming to reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for crystalline silica and create a comprehensive standard that would include requirements for compliance methods, exposure monitoring, training, and medical surveillance. The final rule is projected to be released in February 2016.

The DOL also highlighted improving tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, also known as the electronic recordkeeping proposal, as a key priority for OSHA in 2016. If implemented, the rule would modify OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping standard at 29 CFR 1904 to require employers to submit certain injury and illness recordkeeping information electronically to OSHA. A final rule is projected to be released in March 2016.

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