Federal agencies I2P2

Upcoming OSHA strategic plan to emphasize health hazards

David Michaels

Washington – A greater emphasis on health hazards is one step OSHA says it will take in the coming years as part of the Department of Labor’s strategic plan for 2014-2018.

In particular, the agency intends to modernize its Process Safety Management Standard to address chemical hazards in an effort to improve refinery worker safety and decrease the likelihood of catastrophic events, OSHA administrator David Michaels said during an Aug. 6 webchat.

As part of this chemical safety initiative – which was included in a presidential executive order on Aug. 1 – OSHA will coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Homeland Security to develop a data-sharing system regarding facilities with chemical hazards.

Regarding OSHA standards, Michaels told webchat commenters a notice of proposed rulemaking updating the Silica Standard would be issued in the “near future,” and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act review of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program Standard was expected to begin “soon.”

As part of the draft DOL plan, OSHA’s strategies also include continuing its enforcement programs and outreach and compliance assistance efforts.