OSHA publishes Standards Improvement Project rule, announces another

Washington – OSHA on June 8 published a final rule meant to streamline a variety of current standards, and a fourth one focusing on the construction industry is in the works.

The Standards Improvement Project – Phase III rule (.pdf file) removes or revises OSHA requirements that are confusing, outdated, duplicative or inconsistent. The rule, which is scheduled to go into effect July 8, does not create new requirements and is meant to ease burdens on employers by simplifying standards.

The rule is the third SIP rulemaking issued since 1996. According to Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules (.pdf file), a Department of Labor document released May 26, the three published SIP rules are expected to save employers an estimated $64 million (2010 dollars) in compliance costs.

In the near future, OSHA said the agency intends to include a fourth SIP rule in an upcoming regulatory agenda, and this rule will be the first to address construction industry standards. No publication dates have been given and a cost savings estimate was not available, but DOL said industry stakeholders will be solicited for input on the construction SIP rule.

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