Over the past year, OSHA has made a couple of important changes that will begin impacting employers in 2015. Here’s what you should know about the latest updates and what you can expect over the coming year.
Hazard Communication Standard Gets a Makeover
By June 1, the updated requirements for labeling hazardous chemicals under the HCS go into effect. Going forward, all labels must have the following elements:
- A signal word
- Supplier and product identifies
- Hazard and precautionary statements
What to do: Review your current inventory of hazardous chemicals and check with suppliers if any item labels are not in compliance. Provide training for employees on how to read the new labels.
A Full Agenda for the Coming Year
According to SHRM, OSHA has more than half a dozen regulations under review in 2015. They are prioritizing action on a number of fronts:
- Improving infectious disease protocols for high-risk industries (including a review of the bloodborne pathogen standard).
- Controlling exposure to crystalline silica. A reduction in the PEL and an enhanced set of preventive guidelines might prevent more than 1600 new cases of silicosis each year.
- Confined space safety, slip and fall prevention, and crane operation are all on the agenda for review or amendment as well.
On the administrative side of things, the agency is planning to rule on whether it will require electronic submission of injury and illness data going forward. OSHA may also begin requiring employers to go back and create records if they failed to do so at the time of an incident—even if the 6 month statute of limitations for citations has passed.
What to do: Keep up with the latest updates with DKF. We’re always here to help you understand and comply with OSHA’s ever-changing regulations.