The Dept. of Labor issued its Fall 2023 Regulatory Agenda on December 12.
The true pent-up demand for OSHA’s regulatory action is packed in the green room of regulations, waiting to step into the spotlight as proposed rules, where comments will be collected, hearings held and the topic of most discussion.
This list includes:
PPE (fit) in Construction: Next step for OSHA is to “analyze the comments.” ISEA’s comments to OSHA stated: PPE is adjustable and is available in a vast number of sizes, but employers must order them. In addition, we commented safety wearing apparel is available in a wide range of sizes, but needs to be ordered to be offered to workers.
Infectious Diseases: OSHA is seeking to protect employees across a range of industries from exposure to infectious pathogens that can cause significant disease. This rule would set a legal requirement for infection control, whereas CDC offers guidance.
Communication Tower Climbing Safety: The demand for broadband is creating a growing workforce of those who heights to install and maintain communications infrastructure. A proposed rule likely would call for use of ANSI/ISEA 121-2018-compliant dropped object prevention solutions, and more.
Emergency Response: OSHA is looking to update and reorganize the various requirements for emergency response, whether private or public.
Tree care: Arborists are calling for a new OSHA subsection that would cover all hazards found in this industry: falls, hearing protection, eye protection and more. This rule making effort began in 2016.
Powered Industrial Trucks: This would update the reference to these products. Why does ISEA care? Because once this standards reference update is done, PPE reference updates are next!
What’s next for final rules?
COVID, for one. Political considerations likely dominate. It’s best chance for publication is in November after a potential Biden re-election.
Last, employers need to be aware of the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. This rule comes into full effect on January 1. Under this measure, many employers must send injury, illness and fatality data to OSHA; some of which will be published on line.
What would MetaCritic say of the regulatory agenda?
The left would love it, but give it an 8.5 because it needs more. The Right would pan it because it demonstrates the Administration’s rush to regulate. The vast middle, including ISEA, gives it high grades, but wants to see our star scholars under the spotlight of students of the year – that is, get some regs published!