Employers should see annual cost savings of more than $43 million, as well as "significant reductions in paperwork burden hours," according to the agency. The goal is to improve and eliminate regulations that are confusing, outdated, duplicative or inconsistent.
The final rule is the third in OSHA's Standards Improvement Projects initiative that reviews OSHA regulations. Previous SIP updates were published in 1998 and 2005.
While there will be no new requirements stemming from the rule, the following changes will result:
- For the existing respiratory protection standard, cylinder testing requirements for self-contained breathing apparatuses will be aligned with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, aftermarket cylinders will be ensured to meet National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health quality assurance requirements, and the provisions of information for employees using respirators when not required under the standard will be clarified to be mandatory if the employee chooses to use a respirator.
- The definition of the term "potable water" will be updated to be consistent with the current Environmental Protection Agency standards instead of the former and outdated Public Health Service Corps definition.
- The outdated requirement that hand dryers use warm air will be removed since new technology allows employers to use hand-drying products that do not involve hot or warm air.
- Two medical record requirements will be removed from the commercial driving standard because it no longer requires medical examinations.
- A number of requirements for employers to transmit exposure and medical records to NIOSH will be deleted, a move expected to save NIOSH significant costs to store and maintain the records. "According to NIOSH, these records did not serve a useful research purpose," OSHA said.
- The slings standards will be updated and streamlined by requiring that employers use only slings marked with manufacturers' loading information.
Employers will be able to comply with the new rule immediately.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
July 5, 2011
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