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2019 Year-End OSHA Updates

Harbor America - Dec 30, 2019 3:01:00 PM

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is preparing proposals in the new year. Many of OSHA regulations on the agenda pertain to and effect blue-collar industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and manual labor. Two proposals on the agenda for the beginning of 2020 will discuss forklift and walking-working surface regulations.

The forklift proposal will incorporate updates to the 1969 powered industrial trucks standard from the current industry consensus standard. OSHA is gathering data to determine adequate requirements for the maintenance and use of powered industrial trucks, as well as the training of operators.

The walking-working surface proposal will likely be introduced after the forklift proposal and will serve to refine the 2016 standards. OSHA has received feedback about the vagueness and has proposed updates to explicate that language.

The agenda addressing Puerto Rico has been delayed due to inability to meet requirements for approval. OSHA has progressed in completing final phases of Standards Improvement Project and updating its quantitative fit-testing requirements for respirators.

While it may not be on the upcoming agenda for 2020, OSHA is shifting to limit online training to promote in-person, interactive training for workers to provide opportunities to ask questions, receive feedback from trainers, and ensure compliance with OSHA requirements in real time. OSHA is not opting to eliminate online training altogether. It is in fact interested in providing a qualified trainer hotline that workers can have access to during online training. However, OSHA is adamant that online training is not optimal for these types of industries.

Other regulation proposals have made their way to final ruling stages.
  • Construction industry cranes and derricks standard
  • Additional exemptions to be added to roadway work
  • Beryllium exposure clarification of the ancillary provisions of the general industry standard
  • Construction and shipyard standards
While there are more pending proposals to be discussed, they are not on OSHA’s agenda as of yet. Here are some other items that are pending OSHA’s discussion and final rule.
  •  Update hazard communication standard to conform with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
  • Update “confined space” in construction welding and cutting standard to a clear, concise definition
  •  Update communication tower standard protections in small, highly hazardous industry 
  • Create standards and regulations for issues like tree care and workplace violence 
It is important for business owners to stay updated on OSHA regulations and changes to regulations as it effects both the way business is conducted, as well as the safety and compliance of a business’s workers. If you’re uncertain of how OSHA effects your business or would like to evaluate your current policies, contact Harbor America. As your partner in HR services, we can help with workers’ compensation, technology, compliance support, commercial insurance, and safety and risk management. You don’t need to be an expert because Harbor America is staffed with experts who would love to help you find innovative, effective business solutions tailored to you!


Sources: https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/OSHA-Occupational-Safety-and-Health-Administration/OSHA-plans-forklift-walking-working-surfaces-propo/ https://ohsonline.com/articles/2019/11/20/osha-stresses-limits-on-online-training.aspx?m=1 https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/19164-osha-advisory-committee-set-to-meet-for-first-time-in-three-years
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