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Latest OSHA regulatory agenda shows movement on beryllium standard, no change to workplace violence prevention

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Washington — Changes to provisions in OSHA’s beryllium rule for general industry have moved to the final rule stage, according to the Department of Labor’s Spring 2019 regulatory agenda.

Released May 22, the agenda is issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year. It shows regulations in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. It also provides a timeline, sometimes tentative, for individual rules.

The alterations to OSHA’s beryllium rule provisions, listed in the proposed rule stage in the Fall 2018 regulatory agenda, now join a similar entry concerning beryllium in the construction and shipyard sectors. The latter regulation is a holdover in the final rule stage from the previous agenda. Both rules are slated for publication in December.

An addition to OSHA’s list of proposed rules is intended to clarify “any perceived ambiguity” about what constitutes a confined space for welding in construction. A notice of proposed rulemaking is slated for publication in December.

A rule on workplace violence prevention in health care and social assistance remains in the pre-rule stage. A related Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel is scheduled to convene in October, the agenda states.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s lone regulation remaining in the final rule stage concerns refuge alternatives for underground coal mines. The agency had movement in other areas, including one rule that is part of its proposed regulatory reform. The first focus of that reform is electronic detonators. The agenda entry states that MSHA is considering a proposed rule or direct final rule on detonators for blasting in metal and nonmetal mines, possibly by October.

MSHA also is exploring potential changes to its regulations on non-permissive surveying equipment in underground coal mines – either in a direct final rule or proposed rule slated for September.

 

The agency intends to issue in July a Request for Information on respirable crystalline silica. Additionally, a potential rule concerning exposure to diesel exhaust was moved to long-term actions from the pre-rule stage.

A final rule on OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project – Phase IV, which is included in the agenda, was published May 14. The agency also finalized rules on crane operator certification requirements in construction and its electronic recordkeeping rollback since the previous agenda.

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