On October 4, 2016, OSHA announced its intent to modify 18 of its existing regulations. This is part of an initiative that first began in 1995 intended to bring clarity to outdated standards and relieve unnecessary burdens on employers. While most of these proposed changes seem to do this, there is one that will add another responsibility for employers (posting Jobsite coordinates). Here are a few of the more substantial changes that are currently proposed.
- POSTING COORDINATES: When using phones that do not automatically communicate the caller’s location to 911 (this currently includes most cell phones) the employer will be required to post the job site coordinates (latitude/longitude) along with the emergency telephone numbers.
- RECORDING HEARING LOSS CLAIMS: Language is going to be added to OSHA’s recordkeeping standard (29 CFR 1904) that emphasizes the fact that employers are responsible for making sure that physicians use the information within OSHA’s standard when classifying hearing loss claims. This modification will all underscore the fact that hearing loss claims must be classified as “work-related” if work is believed to have contributed to the hearing loss in any way.
- SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: The requirement to include social security numbers on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and other records is being removed to help protect against identity theft.
- PERMISSABLE EXPOSURE LIMITS: All references to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and their Threshold Limit Value’s (TLV) in 1926.55 will be removed and replaced with OSHA’s “Permissible Exposure Limits”.
- ANNUAL CHEST X-RAYS: OSHA is removing its requirement for employers to perform annual chest x-rays on employees who are exposed to potentially hazardous amounts of Inorganic Arsenic, Coke Oven Emissions, and Acrylonitrile. They are maintaining their requirement for baseline chest x-rays though.
- POSTED LOAD LIMITS: Load limits will no longer be required to be marked on overhead storage areas during the construction of a single-family home.
For more detail on these changes and to find information on the other proposed changes, please click here to visit the Federal Register. Please keep in mind that these changes are only PROPOSED at this time and may change or be omitted prior to becoming effective.