OSHA Update 01/21/2019

By: Jim Morris, CSP- Safety Consultant, Cardinal Compliance Consultants

In 2019 we can expect to see a lot of activity from OSHA with recent increases in budget and the communications of their regulatory agenda for the new year. The budget published on the Department of Labor’s website provides $557.8 Million in funding and 2,024 FTE for OSHA to continue its goal in preventing workplace incidents and injuries.

This budget includes increases such as:

  • $3,120,000 and 24 FTE to hire Compliance Assistance Specialists
  • $2,000,000 and 8 FTE to support the VPP.
  • $6,148,000 and 42 FTE to replenish Compliance Safety and Health Officer positions.

The increase of 42 Compliance Officer positions will allow OSHA to Implement its site-specific targeting 2016 (SST-16) inspection plan (effective as of 10/28/2018). The SST-16 Plan selects individual establishments for inspection based on their CY 2016 300A injury data submitted under the E-Recordkeeping Rule. OSHA has created a software that will generate a list of targeted establishments for enforcement from this pool of data.  The targeted establishments will be those with Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) injury rates above industry averages.

The additional 32 positions are in support of employers, focusing on compliance assistance, cooperative programs, expanding training, outreach and 8 positions specifically dedicated to supporting and expanding OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program.

This is in conjunction with OSHA’s rulemaking activities which are focusing more on scaling back or streamlining existing standards.

  • Beryllium
    • Eliminating and revising certain provisions for Construction, General Industry, and Shipyards.
  • Haz-Com
    • An update to maintain alignment with the Global Harmonization System is in the proposed rule stage for March 2019.
  • Cranes
    • Due date to finalize amendments to its 2010 crane standard has been delayed until June 2019 (Note: the final rule on type and capacity requirements for crane operator training was released on Nov. 9, 2018.)
  • Recordkeeping
    • Proposed rule to eliminate the requirements to submit the Form 301 (June 2019 target date for revised final rule).

In addition, OSHA plans to issue RFIs or advanced notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) as follows:

  • Crystalline silica, specifically on the effectiveness of control measures not listed on table 1.
  • Input on updating current rules for hydraulic or pneumatic power presses in light of technological advances.
  • RFI to update the PIT standard which references 1969 ANSI B56.1 to the 2016 version.
  • Lockout/Tagout (RFI on technological advances employing computer-based controls of hazardous energy that conflict with existing LOTO standards).
  • Blood lead level for medical removal (ANPRM in March 2019 on strengthening the existing lead standard by lowering the level at which an employee may be returned to a former job).