Final rule on streamlining standards coming soon

May 25, 2011

Washington – OSHA soon will publish a final rule aimed at simplifying standards and reducing employer burdens, the agency announced May 26.

The rule will update OSHA standards and set revision requirements based on agency reviews, comments from the public, and recommendations from an Office of Management and Budget report, according to an OSHA press release.

As a result, OSHA will make several changes to existing regulations, including:

  • Clarifying air cylinder requirements in the respiratory protection standard
  • Updating the definition of “potable water” to be consistent with Environmental Protection Agency standards
  • Removing the outdated requirement that hand dryers use warm air
  • Deleting several requirements for employers to provide exposure and medical records to NIOSH

These updates line up with Executive Order 13563 (.pdf file), which directs federal agencies to conduct periodic reviews to identify outdated, insufficient or overly burdensome regulations. OSHA estimates the rule will save employers $43 million a year and reduce paperwork. It will not create any new requirements, so employers can comply immediately, the agency said.