In 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) significantly increased the number of employer inspections it conducted to address violations that put workers at risk. The agency also worked on new rulemakings and programs. Some changes are slated to take effect in 2020, while others are still under consideration.

Proposed Rules Coming in 2020

OSHA plans to create a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review panel. Its goal will be to create a standard to address workplace violence in healthcare and social services, as required under a bill passed by the House of Representatives.

In April 2020: OSHA plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking related to walking-working surfaces. The goal is to clarify the requirements that employers found unclear.

In May 2020: OSHA intends to issue a proposed rule to correct and clarify rules related to cranes and derricks in construction and industrial trucks. It will include a proposed rule to update the powered industrial truck standard. The current regulation relies on the 1969 American National Standards Institute standards. The new proposed rule will cover more types of trucks. OSHA also sought comment on possible changes to locations of use, maintenance, training, and operation of industrial trucks.

In June 2020: OSHA plans to release its proposed rule on occupational exposure to crystalline silica. It would let companies in general industry meet the same standards that apply to the construction industry.

Other rulemakings will address communication tower safety, welding in construction confined spaces, and exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in the construction and shipyard industries. Another rule will update the Hazard Communication Standard.

Other Possible Changes

OSHA plans to analyze comments it received related to possible revisions to its lockout/tag out and powered industrial truck regulations. The agency wants to change the regulations to reflect advances in technology.

Several items are in the pre-rule stage. Those include a request for information in July to update the Mechanical Power Press rule for the first time in 40 years, initiation of a panel in August to develop an Emergency Response rule, and advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for the Blood Lead Level for Medical Removal rule to be issued in September. OSHA plans to propose rules on post-incident drug testing, safety incentive programs, and personal protective equipment in the construction industry in November.

Be Prepared for Changing Rules

Some of these proposed changes may not go ahead as currently planned, but it’s important for employers to stay up to date on new rules so they can be OSHA-compliant. Respond Systems offers a wide array of first aid supplies and personal protective equipment, as well as on-site safety training. Place an order for any supplies you need to keep your employees safe or schedule a class today.