News & Announcements

Updates to OSHA Provisions Effective July 15

Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2019 6:27 am

Effective July 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) revised 14 provisions in the recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards as part of Phase IV of the Standards Improvement Project (“SIP-IV”).  The purpose of the revisions was to remove or revise outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent requirements in its safety and health standards. 

According to OSHA, the revisions are expected to save employers an estimated $6.1 million per year, though one revision (updating the method of identifying and calling emergency medical services) may increase construction employers’ combined costs by $32,000 per year.  Other revisions include:

  • Adding a cross-reference to another standard that will help health professionals determine if a case of hearing loss is work-related;
  • Reduction to the number of necessary employee x-rays;
  • Updates for storage of digital x-rays;
  • Updates to terminology and references to the International Labour Organization (“ILO”) guidelines included in its asbestos standards;
  • Updates to requirements for pulmonary function testing;
  • Update to the consensus standard incorporated by reference for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic;
  • Revision of minimum breaking-strength requirement for lifelines in the safety belts, lifelines, and lanyards standard from 5,400 to 5,000 pounds;
  • Revision to the requirements for roll-over protective structures to comply with current consensus standards;
  • Elimination of requirements for residential construction employers to post safe load limits; and
  • Removing the requirements that employers include an employee’s social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records.

The final rule can be viewed here.

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