OSHA is about to overhaul several outdated regulations and align some of its standards with those administered by other agencies. The rule, which will soon be published in the Federal Register, is expected to save employers $43 million and significantly reduce time spent processing paperwork by 1.85 million hours annually. It will become effective on July 8, 2011.
This initiative to update and standardize regulations is the result of President Barak Obama’s executive order of January 18, 2011 to simplify and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. In this order, President Obama stated,
Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. It must be based on the best available science. It must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. It must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty. It must identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. It must take into account benefits and costs, both quantitative and qualitative. It must ensure that regulations are accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand. It must measure, and seek to improve, the actual results of regulatory requirements.
Following are some of the changes that will result from OSHA’s new rule:
Because there are no new requirements as a result of this rule, employers will be able to comply with it immediately.
To read OSHA’s press release, click on http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=19905 and to read OSHA’s Final Rule, click on http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-06-08/html/2011-13517.htm.