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Few changes for OSHA, MSHA in fall regulatory agenda

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Photo: OSHA

Washington — The Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda for fall 2018, released Oct. 17, contains few changes for OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The agenda, issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year, gives the status and projected dates for all regulations listed in three stages – pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule.

Updates to OSHA’s Crane Operator Qualification in Construction Standard have moved to the final rule stage and are undergoing mandatory OIRA review. The agency is expected to issue the final rule in November.

 

OSHA’s attempts at crane qualification requirements began in 2010 with its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard, which mandated that crane operators become certified for both the type of crane used and its lifting capacity.

The agency later was notified that two of the four accredited testing services were issuing certifications for “type” of crane rather than “type and capacity.” Stakeholders also expressed concerns about the rule’s language – that “certification” did not mean an operator had the necessary skills.

In its proposed rule, OSHA sought to drop the capacity requirement that never went into effect. The agency also stated that it would address the “certification” concerns by reinstating an employer’s duty to ensure a crane operator is qualified to control the equipment safely.

OSHA’s partial rollback of its electronic recordkeeping rule also moved to the final rule stage in this latest agenda, with a final rule slated for publication in June. The agency is planning to allow certain employers to submit only Form 300A data electronically and no longer require data from Forms 300 or 301. Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta has cited privacy concerns as one of the reasons for the change, but the move has drawn criticism in certain circles.

OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project IV, intended to “remove or revise duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent health and safety standards” is expected to be finalized in December after OIRA review.

The agency also is expected to issue proposed changes to provisions in its beryllium standard for general industry in December – part of a settlement agreement with four organizations signed in April.

MSHA had one change to its agenda from spring to fall: changing the title of a regulation in the pre-rule stage. The agency is gathering information on technologies, such as collision warning systems, that may help reduce incidents involving equipment at surface mines and belt conveyors at both underground and surface mines.

In the spring agenda, MSHA’s request for information concerned only powered haulage equipment for surface mines.

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