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Multiple changes for OSHA in latest regulatory agenda

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Washington — A handful of potential OSHA standards have advanced in the rulemaking process, according to the Department of Labor’s Spring 2024 regulatory agenda – released July 5.

The agenda – typically issued by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – provides the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule.

Two of those potential standards have moved to the final rule stage from the proposed rule stage. One is intended to clarify fit requirements for personal protective equipment in construction. The other is aimed at updating the standard on powered industrial trucks to the 2018 version of the ANSI PIT standard from the 1969 version.

“This rulemaking will incorporate by reference the consensus standard provisions related to the design and construction of powered industrial trucks,” OSHA writes, “and is a continuation of OSHA’s ongoing effort to update references to consensus standards published by standards-developing organizations.”

The agency has a new entry in the proposed rule stage: “Rapid REDON Fit-Testing Protocol: Amendment to Respiratory Protection Standard Appendix A.” This proposal stems from a request for OSHA approval on a new quantitative fit test.

“The proposed Rapid REDON protocol is a modified version of the existing REDON protocol that would eliminate the 30-second durations for two of the fit test exercises (facing forward and bending over), and also remove the second redonning of the respirator, thereby reducing the total duration of time required to conduct the fit test,” OSHA explains.

The agency’s soon-to-be published proposed rule on heat illness prevention in outdoor and indoor workplaces has moved from the pre-rule stage. The agency on July 2 published a draft of the proposal.

Also advancing to the proposed rule stage from the pre-rule stage: a standard on workplace violence in health care and social assistance, along with another on process safety management to prevent major chemical incidents.

A standard on shipyard fall protection has moved to the proposed rule stage from “long-term actions.” A mechanical power presses update, meanwhile, has moved from the pre-rule stage to “long-term actions,” which denotes that OSHA won’t work on the rule for at least six months.

For the Mine Safety and Health Administration, two entries are listed on the regulatory agenda.

“Alternatives to Petitions for Modification: Non-Permissible Surveying Equipment” remains in the proposed rule stage. “Testing, Evaluation and Approval of Electric Motor-Driven Mine Equipment and Accessories” is still in the final rule stage.

The agency has published two final rules since the Fall 2023 regulatory agenda was published on Dec. 8. One of those, issued later in December, required mine operators to have a written safety program for surface mobile equipment, excluding belt conveyors.

In April, MSHA updated its permissible exposure limit for silica exposure.


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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication