Events and News

OSHA's Latest Regulatory Agenda Slates Silica Rule Release in February 2016

November 23, 2015

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) released its Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda, which details the agency’s plans for 2016. OSHA now anticipates releasing its final rule for crystalline silica for general industry and construction in February 2016. These dates are not set in stone. AFS will continue to monitor when the silica rule is sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. AFS plans to meet with OIRA once the rule is sent over by OSHA.

In addition, the agency expects to finalize these additional rules in 2016 before the end of the Obama administration:

  • Injury and Illness Electronic Recordkeeping - Final rule expected in March 2016. This regulation will mean changes to OSHA’s reporting system for occupational injuries and illnesses, including electronically submitting certain information from the OSHA 300 log, incident report (Form 301), and annual summary (Form 300A) on a quarterly basis.
  • Eye and Face Protection - This rule reflects updates in consensus standards and is expected to be released in March 2016.
  • Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls - Final rule expected in April. This long-awaited standard has been on the drawing board since 1990.

Additional regulatory actions under consideration by OSHA include:

  • Occupational exposure to beryllium – Proposed rule – OSHA is analyzing the comments it received in November in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The agency will be reviewing the comments through December.  It is very likely that the agency will work to finalize this rule in 2016.
  • Chemical management and permissible exposure limits (PELs) – OSHA will be analyzing comments that the agency received in response to a request for information through April 2016. 
  • Combustible Dust—OSHA plans to convene a Small Business Review panel in August 2016.
  • Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities - OSHA plans to convene a Small Business Review panel in September 2016.
  • Lock-out/Tag-out Update – The agency has recently seen an increase in requests for variances for these devices. A Request for Information is anticipated for September 2016 in order for OSHA to understand the strengths and limitations of this new technology, as well as potential hazards to workers.
  • Mechanical Power Presses Update – A Request for Information is anticipated for September 2016.
  • Powered Industrial Trucks - A Request for Information is anticipated for October 2016.
  • Clarification of employers’ continuing obligation to make and maintain accurate records of each recordable injury and illness - OSHA is analyzing the comments it received in October from its NPRM. The agency is proposing to amend its recordkeeping rules to clarify that the duty to make and maintain accurate records is an ongoing obligation.