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OSHA… What’s on Tap for 2016???

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With 2016 being the last year of the current administration, we are likely to see some regulatory action. According to OSHA’s published agenda here are some of the things we may see…

FINAL RULES

  • The Final Rule on reducing the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of Crystalline Silica is expected to be released by February 2016.
  • The Final Rule on the electronic maintenance and submittal of OSHA Injury & Illness Logs is scheduled to be released by March 2016.
  • The Final Rule for updating the 1910 Subpart D standard on Walking Working Surfaces is supposed to be released by April 2016.

PROPOSED RULES

  • OSHA is talking about making several modifications to their Crane Standard (1926 Subpart CC) to correct inaccuracies within the standard.
  • OSHA is planning on updating their Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) on Beryllium.
  • OSHA is revising their current protocol on respirator fit testing.

ENFORCEMENT TRENDS

  • The final implementation of the new GHS Standard will become effective on June 1, 2016.  This means all employers must replace all of their existing MSDS with the new SDS by this date and have implemented all changes necessary for their employees to comply with the SDS requirements.
  • OSHA has stated that they plan on re-emphasizing the importance of “Heat Stress Prevention” this year.  Because of this we may see more General Duty Clause citations for related violations.
  • Workplace violence is unfortunately becoming more and more of an issue in today’s society, and OSHA realizes this.  General Duty citations could become more common because of this, especially in high risk industries.
  • While OSHA is looking to update some of their “Permissible Exposure Limits” (PELs), they have also stated that they may revoke some and not replace them.  They did not say which PELs they plan on revoking, but this action will likely mean they will rely on existing NIOSH or ACHIG limits, which are more aggressive than OSHA’s existing PELs.

 

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