OSHA announced it plans to publish in August 2011 final rules revising its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align it with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), according to the agency’s most recent regulatory agenda [SEE ATTACHED]. The agenda, released Dec. 20, contains new information about a number of other OSHA rulemaking efforts:
- The agency intends to issue a final rule in February requiring employers to record musculoskeletal disorders on the OSHA 300 log; the previous agenda called for completing this action in July of 2010.
- For the first time, OSHA has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for modernizing the agency’s recording and reporting requirements, with a proposed rule scheduled for September of next year.
- The NPRM for occupational exposure to crystalline silica has been pushed back two months to April 2011.
- Plans for a final rule on electric power transmission and distribution have been postponed from February to May 2011.
In its regulatory plan [SEE ATTACHMENT TWO], the Department Labor explains that under the modernization of recording requirements rule OSHA will explore increasing its legal authority to require employers to electronically submit to the agency any data required by part 1904 (Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries). In addition it will set ongoing electronic submission requirements of data for a defined set of establishments.
This two-part rule will give OSHA the flexibility to define the scope and frequency of data collection without having to undertake additional rulemakings. With OMB approval, OSHA will be able to conduct data collections ranging from the annual collection of data from a handful of employers to the real-time collection of all part 1904 data from all covered employers. In addition, OSHA will be able to request additional data elements that employers are not required to maintain, such as data on race and ethnicity, as a non-mandatory component of a given data collection.
Finally, in June of 2011 OSHA will begin Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) hearings on a rule requiring employers to implement an injury and illness prevention program. The new agenda does not schedule an NPRM for this rule, an initiative OSHA Administrator David Michaels has called his top regulatory priority.