OSHA final rule corrects errors in 27 standards and regulations

Washington — OSHA has issued technical corrections and amendments to 27 standards and regulations to address “minor misprints, omissions, outdated references, and tabular and graphic inaccuracies.”

According to a final rule published in the Feb. 18 Federal Register, the corrections are to 29 CFR 1904 (recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses), 1910 (general industry), 1915 and 1918 (maritime), and 1926 (construction).

None of the revisions expands employer obligations or imposes new costs, a Feb. 14 press release from OSHA states.

The changes are effective immediately.

OSHA celebrates 50th anniversary of OSH Act

nixon-signs.png
President Richard Nixon signs the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Washington — To mark the 50th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA has launched a webpage highlighting the agency’s work over the decades.

On Dec. 29, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the legislation and paved the way for OSHA’s creation. In that time, workplace fatalities have decreased to about 14 a day in 2018 from around 38 a day in 1970, and the annual injury and illness rate among private-industry employees declined to 2.8 per 100 workers in 2018 from 10.9 in 1972.

“OSHA has helped transform America’s workplaces by dramatically reducing workplace fatalities and significantly decreasing the worker injury rate,” acting administrator Loren Sweatt says in a video posted on the webpage. “Even with these dramatic improvements to worker safety, our work is not done. As we celebrate 50 years of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, I hope you will join us in making a renewed commitment to keeping workers safe and healthy. It’s every worker’s right.”

The agency is expected to announce upcoming events honoring the anniversary.

Corrections to Standards

OSHA issued corrects to General Industry Standards 1910 – Subpart D Walking-Working Surfaces, Personal Protective Equipment, and Special Industries standards, Including:

Ladders 1910.23(d)(4) requires employers to ensure that the side rails of through or side-step ladders extend at least 42 inches above the top of the access level or landing platform served by the ladder. Prior to the correction 42 inches was listed as an exact measurement

Stairways 1910.25(a) clarifying that all articulated stairs used in general industry, not just those serving floating roof tanks, remain excluded from coverage by § 1910.25. Prior to the correction, only floating roof tank stairways were excluded from this standard

Personal Fall Arrest Systems 1910.140(c)(8) requires snaphooks, carabiners, and D-rings (and other hardware) to be proof tested to 3,600 pounds (ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, section 3.1.1.6) and requires the gate of snaphooks and carabiners to be capable of withstanding a minimum load of 3,600 pounds without the gate separating from the nose of the snaphook or carabiner body by more than 0.125 inches (ANSI/ASSE Z359.12-2009, section 3.1.1.3).  Prior to the correction, the latter part of the requirement was out of alignment with the ANSI standard.

Visit the Federal Register for more details on the changes.

OSHA determined that this rulemaking is not subject to the procedures for public notice and comment specified in Section 4 of the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 553), Section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655(b)), and 29 CFR 1911.5. This rulemaking only corrects typographical, formatting, and clerical errors, and provides more information about the requirements of some provisions. As it does not affect or change any existing rights or obligations, no stakeholder is likely to object to these corrections. Therefore, the agency finds good cause that public notice and comment are unnecessary within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), 29 U.S.C. 655(b), and 29 CFR 1911.5.

To ensure your team is up to date on OSHA standards and industry best practices, sign up for training at McCraren Compliance today. Remember if you need a class you don’t see listed, just ask us.

 

 

Statement from OSHA Regarding Occupational Fatalities in 2018

OSHA reports Suicide at work increased 11% in 2018 and unintentional overdoses at working increased 11% according to the US Bureaus of Labor statistics. To help combat these serious issues affecting our workers, families, companies and the greater society, OSHA has a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.

OSHA is also working with National Safety Council on the release of a toolkit to help employers address opioid abuse in their workplaces and support workers in recovery. To see the full release from OSHA click here

McCraren Compliance offers Suicide Prevention in Workplace training through Working Minds. Email info@mccrarencompliance.com to find out more.

Number of OSHA inspections at Trump-administration high, agency says

OSHA-Enforcement.jpg
Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA conducted 33,401 inspections in fiscal year 2019 – the largest total during the Trump administration.

A Dec. 3 press release from the agency states that a record 1,392,611 workers were trained on safety and health requirements via the various education programs, and its free On-Site Consultation Program identified nearly 138,000 workplace hazards.

“OSHA’s efforts – rulemaking, enforcement, compliance assistance and training – are tools to accomplish our mission of safety and health for every worker,” Loren Sweatt, the agency’s acting administrator, said in the release. “I am proud of the diligent, hard work of all OSHA personnel who contributed to a memorable year of protecting our nation’s workers.”

The total number of inspections is the most since FY 2015, when 35,820 were conducted. The agency conducted 31,948 inspections the next fiscal year, then 32,408 in FY 2017 and 32,023 in FY 2018.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2012, OSHA conducted more than 40,000 inspections each fiscal year and more than 38,000 annually from FY 2003 to FY 2013.

One likely reason for the fewer number of inspections since that stretch is a dwindling number of OSHA inspectors, also known as compliance safety and health officers. The agency had a record-low 875 CSHOs as of Jan. 1, according to a National Employment Law Project data brief issued in March. In an April 3 congressional appropriations hearing, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) pointed to a federal hiring freeze during the first year of President Donald Trump’s administration, as well as retirements and resignations, as factors.

To try to counteract that, the Department of Labor committed to adding 26 new full-time equivalent inspectors to the agency for FY 2019 after adding 76 CSHOs in FY 2018.

Then-Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta testified during the April hearing that he expected inspections to increase once the new CSHOs were up to speed. In his written testimony for the hearing, Acosta acknowledged that it could take one to three years to get the inspectors working in the field unsupervised.