Aligning the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is only one part of OSHA’s safety campaign. Several standards are in development as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strives to continuously improve on safety and health regulations across America.
As per the national Department of Labor’s official Spring 2015 Agency Rule List, several pertinent rules are in different stages of development. Rules that are relevant to Quantum and its clients’ interests include:
The Process Safety Management standard is currently in the prerule stage. Changes to this standard affect regulations for the prevention of chemical accidents and will directly affect small business practices as well. Manufacturers and distributors need to be aware of changes to chemical safety standards, and can keep track of their safety practices using software like Quantum’s.
Regulations about combustible dust are also in the prerule stage. The last time that combustible dust definitions were updated was 2006, but OSHA does not currently have any formal standards about combustible dust regulations. As this affects HCS/GHS classification standards, the ruling may be important to determining specific safety guidelines for your company’s specific products.
Coal miners affected by industry-specific diseases are eligible for protection under the Black Lung Benefits Act. Two motions (one about medical benefits and the other about disclosure of information and payment of those benefits) are currently in the “proposed rule” stage. These rules, once completed, will have implications for workers and companies who need to compensate those workers for their afflictions. Though these deal specifically with coal miners and regulations that protect them, they may also have implications for workers in all dangerous industries.
One ruling in its final stages of completion is the proposal to update OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards Eye and Face Protection. Under section 6(a) of the OSH Act, the Agency was directed to adopt national consensus standards as OSHA standards during the first two years. Some of these standards were adopted as regulatory text, while others were incorporated by reference. In the more than 40 years since these standards were adopted by OSHA, the organizations responsible for these consensus standards have issued updated versions of these standards. However, in most cases, OSHA has not revised its regulations to reflect later editions of the consensus standards. This proposed ruling would update those regulations for certain industries, among them shipyard and construction work.
Stay tuned! Many OSHA rules and regulations may be changing in the near future.
Cassandra Seltzer is Quantum's Business Development Associate. When she's not writing about safety topics and OSHA compliance, she enjoys writing about things that are not safety topics or OSHA compliance.