On October 4, 2016, OSHA published 18 proposed revisions to its current regulations under its Standards Improvement Project – Phase IV (SIP-IV),.
These revisions are being proposed in response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review,” and would revise existing OSHA standards pertaining to recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and (primarily) construction.
OSHA states the goal of the proposed revisions are to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining or enhancing employees’ safety and health, and that the proposed changes have estimated annual costs of $27,899 and would lead to approximately $3.2 million per year in cost savings to regulated entities.
The changes identified below will affect ISRI members:
- Reporting job-related hearing loss
OSHA recordkeeping regulations require employers to record and report occupational injuries and illnesses. The proposed revision codifies current enforcement policy and clarifies that a determination whether an employee's hearing loss is "work-related" must be made using specific, clear criteria, which are also set out in OSHA regulations.
- Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)
The proposed revision clarifies employers' duties under the lockout/tagout standard. The existing general industry standard requires protections against the "unexpected energization" of machinery during servicing. The proposed revision to remove the term "unexpected" reflects OSHA's original intent and eliminates confusion regarding applicability of the standard.
- Lanyard/lifeline Break Strength
The proposed revision standardizes break-strength requirements for lanyards and lifelines throughout the construction and general industry standards.
- Collection of Social Security Numbers
The proposed revision comprehensively removes from general industry, construction, and maritime standards all requirements to include an employee's social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records in order to protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud.