Thursday, January 14, 2010

OSHA's Regulatory Priorities

By Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Well as we all know the Secretary of Labor’s vision of Good Jobs for Everyone “requires a safe and healthy workplace for all workers. OSHA's regulatory program is designed to help workers and employers identify and control hazards in the workplace and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. OSHA's current regulatory program demonstrates a renewed commitment to worker protection.”

So OSHA has release their regulatory priorities which identifies major safety projects OSHA is going to embark on. These include:
Airborne Infectious Diseases - Airborne infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and influenza can be spread from person-to-person. OSHA is interested in protecting the nation's 13 million healthcare workers from airborne infectious diseases.
Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements (Musculoskeletal Disorders) - OSHA is proposing to revise its regulation on Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Recordkeeping) to restore a column on the OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Log that employers will check when recording work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Cranes and Derricks - OSHA's existing rule, which dates back to 1971, is partly based on industry consensus standards that are over 40 years old. On October 9, 2008,
Crystalline Silica - Inhalation of respirable silica dust can cause lung disease, silicosis and lung cancer.
Combustible Dust - Combustible dust can cause catastrophic explosions like the 2008 disaster at the Imperial Sugar refinery that killed 14 workers and seriously injured dozens more.
Hazard Communication Standard - Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals - OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to informing workers about chemical hazards.
Beryllium - Beryllium is a lightweight metal that has a wide variety of applications, including aerospace, telecommunications and defense applications.
Diacetyl - Employee exposure to diacetyl causes obstructive airway disease, including the disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung.”
Walking / Working Surfaces - Subparts D & I - This proposed standard will update OSHA's rules covering slip, trip and fall hazards and establish requirements for personal fall protection systems.

To view the complete press release, check here.

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