OSHA Publishes 2012 Regulatory Agenda Just in Time for 2013

By Roy Maurer Dec 28, 2012

Final rules on confined spaces in construction, electric power transmission and slips, trips and fall prevention are projected to move forward in 2013, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) overdue semiannual regulatory agenda for 2012.

The updated agenda published Dec. 21, 2012, also shows that 10 proposed rules are anticipated to move through the rulemaking stages over the next six-12 months.

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the federal government is required to give notice of significant rulemaking activities by publishing semiannual regulatory agendas that describe current and intended activity on federal regulations and standards. Typically, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs issues an April regulatory agenda and an October regulatory agenda.

The only regulatory agenda published in 2012, was for the fall of 2011.

Some of the rules at the final rulemaking stage include:

  • Confined Spaces in Construction, projected for July 2013.
  • Electric Power Transmission and Distribution, projected for March 2013.
  • Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems (Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention), projected for August 2013.
  • Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements, projected for May 2013.

Rules at the proposed rulemaking stage include:

  • Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica, projected for May 2013.
  • Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, projected for July 2013.
  • Bloodborne Pathogens analysis results projected for May 2013.
  • Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, projected for May 2013.

Under the latest agenda, a small business review panel on OSHA’s proposed injury and illness prevention program was to be initiated Jan. 6, 2012, with the panel set to complete its work in January 2013. A notice of proposed rulemaking is set for December 2013. However, OSHA has not yet begun the small business review.

The OSHA agenda targeted October 2013 to initiate a small business review panel on combustible dust, and listed an April 2013 start date for a small business review panel for an infectious disease rule to protect workers from pathogens that cause serious diseases. The infectious disease rule review was last scheduled for March 2012. The last completed action listed for the rule is stakeholder meetings conducted in July 2011.

Regarding the updating of chemical permissible exposure limits, OSHA said the next step will be to develop a request for information seeking public input on addressing the outdated limits, most of which were set four decades ago.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him on Twitter @SHRMRoy.

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