DOL Regulations - Live Q&A Session with OSHA - Static Version
Monday, July 11, 2:30 p.m. EDT
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2:29 OSHA: This is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Jordan Barab. Welcome to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Web Chat on the most recent Regulatory Agenda. The purpose of this web chat is to discuss the rules that OSHA is currently working on. As we only have an hour for our discussion, please focus your questions on items from our regulatory agenda.
This year marks OSHA’s 40th anniversary. During the last forty years, OSHA has made significant strides to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses in the workplace. OSHA’s efforts to protect workers and promote the public welfare have resulted in a 65 percent reduction in work place fatalities and serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Despite these significant improvements, enormous challenges still lay ahead. OSHA remains committed to improving the safety and health of this nation's workers by issuing common sense safeguards that protect workers from hazards they face every day at work.
As reflected in our most recent Regulatory Agenda, later this year, OSHA will publish the final rule to align the current Hazard Communication Standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and the Electric Power final rule. Additionally, the proposal to update the standard protecting workers from the deadly hazards of crystalline silica, which has been known for hundreds of years to cause severe lung disease, will be published soon. OSHA has also finalized several rulemakings, which have been long standing priorities for the Agency. Final rules for General Working Conditions for Shipyard Employment and the third edition of the Standard Improvement Process (SIP III) were both recently published.
OSHA is committed to ensuring that our standards are consistent with the current goals and objectives set forth in Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821), “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” issued on January 18, 2011, by President Obama. Specifically, the Executive Order requests that agencies review existing and proposed standards and regulations to make certain they effectively protect “public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.” These objectives are clearly reflected in OSHA’s standards. For example, the SIP-III rulemaking continues OSHA efforts to revise duplicative, inconsistent, and outdated safety and health standards. We estimate that SIP-III will result in a cost savings of $45 million and a reduction in 1.8 million burden hours. Additionally, OSHA’s preliminary estimate is that updating the Hazard Communication Standard will create a substantial annualized savings for employers of at least $585 million. The majority of these benefits will be realized through increases in productivity for health and safety managers as well as for logistics personnel. This year we will also publish consensus standard updates for Acetylene and PPE. These updates will ensure that standards reflect advances in technologies that have changed the workplace, and will avoid "de minimis" violations for employers who already comply with more current versions.
Productivity and worker safety are not competing priorities. OSHA is developing regulatory solutions that create safer jobs and support business growth. Last year, OSHA added an Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard to the regulatory agenda. This proposed rule will require employers to develop a program that will help them address their health and safety hazards in a systematic proactive way. To gather information for this rule, OSHA has reached out to the business community, worker representatives and State Plan OSHA’s that have similar requirements. OSHA will base its proposal on the real world experience of employers and the substantial evidence on reductions in injuries and illnesses from employers who have implemented similar programs.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in today’s web chat, and for your interest in the health and safety of America’s workers. The complete regulatory agenda can be found at: http://s.dol.gov/H3.
Your comments during the rulemaking process provide us with invaluable first hand knowledge and help shape the standards produced by the Agency. Today, members of the OSHA staff are here to answer your questions, and address your concerns. Now let’s begin.
2:30 Comment From Guest: Are you still planning on publishing a final rule on GHS alignment with the HCS in August, or do you have a new timeframe?
2:30 OSHA: Thank you for your question. Yes we have updated the timeframe to publish a final rule in September 2011.
2:30 Comment From Stephen Lee, BNA: The next target date for the I2P2 rulemaking is still listed as June, 2011 for a SBREFA panel review. What is the agency's current thinking on a realistic SBREFA panel date?
2:30 OSHA: Stephen, thank you for your question. Yes, the SBREFA process was scheduled to begin in June 2010. We delayed initiating SBREFA in order to gather more stakeholder input and conduct the economic and feasibility analyses. OSHA plans to begin the SBREFA process shortly.
2:32 Comment From Guest: Can you provide an update as to when the overhauled 1910.1200 hazard communication standard is expected to be published by OSHA?
2:32 OSHA: Thank you for your question. OSHA has updated its timing to publish the Hazard Communication Standard final rule in September 2011.
2:33 Comment From Guest: Does OSHA have a draft of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program? If so, where can one obtain a copy? Also, has it been sent to the SBA Advocacy as of yet?
2:33 OSHA: Guest, thank you for your question. The Injury and Illness Prevention Program is not currently available in draft form. OSHA will be providing a draft to the SBREFA Panel, and at that time, the draft will be available to the public on http://www.regulations.gov/.
2:33 Comment From Wayne Creasap: While reviewing the Department of Labor’s recently released Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, I found several items with conflicting dates listed in the OSHA section. I was hoping you could help to clarify the following: 1. Occupational Exposure to Beryllium (RIN: 1218-AB76). The Abstract text states the economic peer review was scheduled to be completed in May (last sentence), while the Timetable lists June as the completion date. 2. Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment (RIN: 1218-AB67). The Abstract text states that OSHA anticipates publishing a final rule in July 2011, while the Timetable lists a Final Rule being issued in September. 3. Hazard Communication (RIN: 1218-AC20). The Abstract text states that OSHA is scheduled to publish a final rule in August, while the timetable lists final action as September. Could you tell me the correct dates for these three items? Thanks in advance for your help in this matter.
2:33 OSHA: Sorry for the confusion between the abstract and the tables, Wayne. There were some typographical errors but the dates in the tables are the correct dates.
2:33 Comment From David LaHoda: What is the status of the Bloodborne Pathogen standard review? What has been done? What next can we expect?
2:34 OSHA: David thanks.
Currently, a look back review is being conducted on the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Requesting comments from the public is an essential part of all look back reviews. We have requested and received comments from the public and these comments are currently undergoing review. A total of 53 comments and 99 entries are on the Public Docket for the look back review of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. These public comments can be found at www.regulations.gov. After OSHA reviews these comments, we will finalize the look back and make it available to the public.
2:34 Comment From Christopher Cole: On crystalline silica, construction industries have asked for an exemption and a separate ANPR for construction. What is your view on this request and does this account for the OMB delay?
2:34 OSHA: OSHA recognizes that exposure to crystalline silica is a serious problem in the construction industry; however the agency has made no final decision on the scope of a proposed rule. OSHA continues to work with OMB and is confident that a proposed rule will be published soon.
2:34 Comment From Terry: Thinking about the Electric Standard and will it be coming out this month?
2:34 OSHA: The Agency anticipates publishing this very important rule in September 2011.
2:36 Comment From Mike: When do you plan to publish the new rule for confined spaces entry for construction workers
2:36 OSHA: Mike, we plan to publish the construction confined space standard in November.
2:38 Comment From Christopher Cole: What must still be completed before the SBREFA process can start on I2P2? What is a realistic timetable for issuing a proposed rule?
2:38 OSHA: Christopher, thank you for your question. The SBREFA process begins when OSHA sends the Preliminary Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to SBA Office of Advocacy and OMB. While the agency is working to complete this project on an expedited schedule, at present OSHA has not determined a specific date for publishing the Injury and Illness and Prevention Program proposed rule.
2:38 Comment From Guest: Is the electronic filing of injury and illness data still a priority?
2:38 OSHA: Yes. The agency believes the information acquired through this proposed rule will allow employers, employees, employer representatives, the government and researchers to better identify and remove workplace hazards.
2:38 Comment From Bruce Rolfsen: The reinforced concrete standard ANPRM is now at OMB. What's OSHA new target date for issuing the ANPRM?
2:38 OSHA: Bruce, we hope to complete that process late this summer and will publish it as soon as possible.
2:39 Comment From Guest: Will Subpart V and 1910.269 become final in 2011 and if so when?
2:39 OSHA: Guest, thank you, the agency anticipates publishing this very important rule in September 2011.
2:40 Comment From PM: Can you tell us what issues have delayed the final rule of the HazCom Stanadard?
2:40 OSHA: Thank you, PM, for your question. The Standard is delayed for a few weeks due to the extensive review of the final standard.
2:41 Comment From Guest: You've indicated that the updated Hazard Communication will be published in September. Can you also provide the dates that the updated standard CAN first be followed and evenutally MUST be followed? Thank you.
2:41 OSHA: Thanks for your question. OSHA proposed a 3 year implementation period. During the rulemaking comment periods and at the public hearings, stakeholders submitted recommended implementation periods ranging from 3 to 15 years. OSHA is considering all of these comments and the implementation period will be announced when the final rule is published.
2:41 Comment From Cliff: Any further information on whether an Ergonomics Standard will be reintroduced?
2:41 OSHA: The Agency currently has no plans to add Ergonomics to the regulatory agenda. However, OSHA acknowledges that musculoskeletal disorders account for almost 1/3 of all workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work. Rather than promulgating an ergonomic scandal at this time, OSHA will continue addressing this issue through providing guidance as well as through enforcement using the general duty clause under 5 (a)(1).
2:41 Comment From Kyle Morrison, S+H: Why has the SBREFA panel review for combustible dust been pushed back eight months from the previous agenda?
2:41 OSHA: We pushed back the date for the SBREFA panel review in order to conduct an expert forum. OSHA believed that such a forum would be helpful given the wide breadth of potential dusts and processes that might be covered by an OSHA standard and the potential impact on small facilities. OSHA believes that this forum will be helpful as we prepare to convene a SBREFA panel to examine in depth all possible approaches the Agency can take to formulate a comprehensive combustible standard.
2:41 Comment From Mike: What is the time line for the IIPP requirment
2:41 OSHA: Mike, while OSHA is working to complete this project on an expedited schedule, at present OSHA has not determined a specific date for publishing the Injury and Illness and Prevention Program proposed rule.
2:43 Comment From Guest: Is there a time line for a standard review for construction fall protection
2:43 OSHA: At this time we are not conducting a look back study for construction fall protection.
2:43 Comment From Christopher Cole: Did the agency glean anything from small businesses from the recently re-opened docket and teleconferences that could affect the MSD column proposal?
2:43 OSHA: Thank you Christopher, OSHA received a number of comments from small business representatives during the teleconference and in the re-opened record. OSHA is currently reviewing the information and input received to determine an appropriate course of action.
2:44 Comment From Guest: What is your plan for the proposal for the modernization of the data system? Are there any additional obstacles to the issuance of the proposal as planned in September which could delay it further?
2:44 OSHA: While a September publication is still a possibility, it is likely publication will be later in the Fall of this year. The draft rule still requires both Departmental and OMB review and approval.
2:44 Comment From Alexis Lumpkins: Are there any plans to create standards for companies that are comprised of administrative offices? My company is currently trying to adhere to many standards that in reality would never apply to us. We are understaffed as it is and it's been difficult to get a definitive answer from any state as to what MUST be included in our safety plans, as well as what equipment (aside from the obvious is mandatory) to have on site.
2:44 OSHA: No.
2:46 Comment From Atanu: Is it recommended that chemical manufacturers begin classifcation of its products according to GHS prior to finalization? Would there be a risk of over or under classifying?
2:46 OSHA: A company may opt to classify the products according to GHS as long as it also follows the current Hazard Communication Standard, and the company must assess whether the chemical is appropriately classified.
2:46 Comment From Guest: When might we see a draft for the Diacetyl and 2,3 pentanedione std??
2:46 OSHA: OSHA has not yet projected a date for publication of a proposed standard for Diacetyl. The next step in the rule making process is to peer review the health effects and risk assessment.
2:47 Comment From Laura Walter: When does the agency expect to finish analyzing comments surrounding the MSD column proposal? Are any further stakeholder meetings scheduled for this issue?
2:47 Comment From Michele Marill: What is the current status of the MSD reporting rule? Will this become effective in 2012?
2:47 OSHA: Thank you Laura and Michele, the record from the joint OSHA and SBA teleconference closed on June 16, 2011. OSHA is currently in the process of analyzing the comments received and determining the next course of action. We have no additional stakeholder meetings planned at this time.
2:47 Comment From BA: You guys are doing a good job. I look forward to the GHS going into affect. Keep up the good work and keeping employees safe
2:47 Comment From Guest: With GHS aligment...what is the minimum information required on a workplace or secondary container label?
2:48 OSHA: Thank you for your question. OSHA did not propose any changes in the requirements for workplace labeling, and any changes in workplace labeling will be announced when the final rule is published.
2:48 Comment From Mike: When will the IIPP be presented to the SBREFA Panel
2:48 OSHA: Mike, thank you for your question. The SBREFA process was scheduled to begin in June 2010. We delayed initiating SBREFA in order to gather more stakeholder input and conduct the economic and feasibility analyses. OSHA plans to begin the SBREFA process shortly.
2:48 Comment From Ken Ward Jr.: Last week, the Chemical Safety Board recommended that OSHA updated its standard on compressed gases. Does the agency plan to do that?
2:48 OSHA: Ken thank you for your question. We just received the CSB comments and recommendations last week and we are currently evaluating them.
2:48 Comment From Kyle Morrison, S+H: The proposed silica rule has been under OMB review for nearly five months, and the expected date for the NPRM release has been continually delayed. What has been holding up its release?
2:48 OSHA: The silica rule making is a scientifically complex effort that potentially affects a large number of workers and employers. It is among the largest health rulemakings undertaken by OSHA. Although publication of the proposed rule is taking longer than expected, OSHA continues to work diligently with OMB and is confident that the proposed rule will published soon.
2:49 Comment From Mark: Is the proposed injury illness program based on ANSI Z10?
2:49 OSHA: Mark, OSHA recognizes the value of both the ANSI Z-10 standard and the international standards on safety and health management systems. Section 8(b) of the Act requires OSHA to adopt consensus standards unless it can show that it has an approach that better effectuates the purposes of the Act. In this case the agency hopes to remain consistent with the consensus standards while simplifying the requirements so that they can be more easily implemented in a broad range of workplaces, particularly small businesses.
2:49 Comment From Diane: Several recent explosions and workplace fatalities have been attributed to combustible dusts. Any update on a standard?
2:49 OSHA: The next step in the rule making process for combustible dust is to initiate the SBREFA panel review. OSHA estimates initiating this review in December.
2:49 Comment From Guest: What will the final GHS rule do with the TLVs? Will they still be listed within the haz com standard?
2:50 OSHA: Thank you for your question. In the proposal, OSHA requested comments from stakeholders regarding the value of including TLVs and PELs on the SDS. OSHA received significant comment from stakeholders on this issue. The Agency’s final determination on the issue will be addressed in the final rule.
2:51 Comment From Mark: Is there a timeline when we might expect to see a final rule on Subpart D - Walking/Working surfaces appear?
2:51 OSHA: The NPRM for Walking, Working Surfaces was published in March 2010, and the comment period closed on August 23, 2010. OSHA staff are currently in the process of reviewing the comments, and the Agency held hearings in January 2011, OSHA staff are currently reviewing the transcripts and post-hearing comments. At this time, OSHA has not projected a date for a final rule on Subpart D.
2:52 Comment From Steven: Has OSHA decided on the scope of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Will it cover Construction?
2:52 OSHA: Steven, we are currently considering ways of setting the scope Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule. As the process moves forward, we look forward to comments from workers and businesses about how best to target this important standard.
2:54 Comment From Eric Frumin, CtW: There are a variety of well-known hazards, some of which have even been included in past Regulatory Agendas, but are not included in this one. For instance, in regard to the PSM standard, the current loopholes exclude reactive chemicals, some stored chemicals (the "Meer" decision") and the entire Oil/Gas drilling industry which has terrible hazards from chemical hazards alone. There are alos problems with Para. J of the PSM standard.
2:54 OSHA: Eric thank you for the comment. At this time, OSHA’s resources have been fully committed to the current regulatory agenda. However, as resources become available, OSHA will be evaluating additional subjects to be added to the regulatory agenda.
2:54 Comment From Ken Ward Jr.: When might we expect to actually see an OSHA standard on combustible dust?
2:54 OSHA: OSHA is not able to project an estimate for when we will publish a proposed standard on combustible dust. The next step in the rule making process is to initiate the SBREFA panel review, which is currently estimated for December.
2:55 Comment From Steven: Will IIPP affect the construction standard and industry or is it just for General Industry?
2:55 OSHA: Steven, we are currently considering ways of setting the scope of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule. As the process moves forward, we look forward to comments from workers and businesses about how best to target this important standard.
2:56 Comment From Guest: Has OSHA considered adding a language translation requirement to the regs on MSDS? If not, why not? If yes, what's the status of those considerations?
2:56 OSHA: Thank you for your question. OSHA did not propose any changes in the language requirements in the Hazard Communication Standard. However, GHS is designed to enable workers of limited literacy in the English language to understand the information.
2:56 Comment From Dennis: We are already seeing GHS labels on some incoming products. Can I just add a GHS section on our current Haz Com training to cover these labels and SDS?
2:56 OSHA: Thank you for your question. Yes you may.
2:57 Comment From Alfonso, Online-MSDS: With a final rule pending a review by OMB, is it expected that the cost/benefit analysis for successful GHS implementation may change?
2:57 OSHA: Alfonso, thank you for your question. OSHA’s preliminary estimate is that updating the Hazard Communication Standard will create a substantial annualized savings for employers of at least $585 million. The majority of these benefits will be realized through increases in productivity for health and safety managers as well as for logistics personnel.
2:57 Comment From Guest: Has the agency thought about removing the proposed silica standard from the regulatory agenda since there is evidence that worker exposure is relatively low (perhaps even lower than the proposed PEL) across a number of industries?
2:57 OSHA: OSHA’s own enforcement data indicate that there continue to be high exposures to crystalline silica in both construction and general industry. OSHA continues to find that non-compliance with existing exposure limits is frequent. In addition, OSHA is aware that disease surveillance data show a significant number of cases of silicosis continue to occur in the United States. The Agency continues to believe that a revised rule is necessary to reduce the risk of silica related illness among workers.
2:58 Comment From LK: Many industries are aligning with SMS (Safety Management Systems) as a part of their requirements, the airline industry as an example. Has OSHA taken these things into consideration in some of it's rulemakings, for example, I2P2?
2:58 OSHA: LK, yes.
2:59 Comment From Rob: Once NIOSH completes the criteria document for diacetyl and other flavor substitutes, what is the timeframe for diacetyl rulemaking.
2:59 OSHA: Thanks, Rob. It is difficult to project when OSHA will be able to publish a proposed rule for diacetyl at this time. NIOSH is peer reviewing their criteria document. OSHA is collaborating with NIOSH on the development of a risk assessment that is contained in this criteria document for use in its proposed rule for diacetyl. OSHA will need to review the comments received from that peer review in order to develop our proposed rule.
2:59 Comment From Guest: SBREFA stands for ?
2:59 DOL Chat Moderator: SBREFA = Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act
3:00 Comment From Bruce Rolfsen: Why does OSHA intend to use the "direct final rule" approach for adding underground construction and demolition to the cranes and derricks standard? Does OSHA have industry support for these additions?
3:00 OSHA: The Agency believes that the direct final Subpart DD standard will not be controversial and is recognized by the industry as a correction to the Final Subpart CC standard. The Agency is also publishing Subpart DD as a possible proposed rule in the same Federal Register notice, so the public can comment.
3:00 Comment From PM: At this point, does OSHA anticpate the final rule of HazCom Standard to reflect that which was proposed? Are there any changes that you can tell us about?
3:00 OSHA: Thank you for your question. OSHA has reviewed all the material submitted during the proposal comment periods. The Agency’s final determination on all the issues will be addressed in the final rule.
3:01 Comment From Guest: As part of the new Hazcomm standard, has OSHA given any thought to becoming the central repository for all MSDS (or its replacement) so that all companies have a single place to go for info. As it is, trying to manage MSDSs and making sure that they are up-to-date plant by plant or corporately is a time consuming task for the amount of good it provides. A central warehousing system by OSHA would be great with a requirement that all manufacturers of chemicals must send a standardized electronic data file for each chemical.
3:01 OSHA: Thanks for your question. OSHA did not propose any changes in the provisions on the accessibilities and materials safety data sheets in the workplace. We will consider this in the future.
3:02 Comment From Mike: Can you provide me some detail on the confined spaces for construction requirments
3:02 OSHA: We cannot comment on the substance of the final rule now that the rulemaking record is closed.
3:02 Comment From Palmer Hickman: Will there be a delay in the implemantation of Subpart V and 1910.269 or will these provisions become effectively immediately?
3:02 OSHA: Palmer, OSHA typically provides a delay in the effective date of at least 60 days for final rules. In the development of the final rule on electric power, OSHA also considered the need for delayed compliance deadlines for several provisions. Any delays in the effective date or in compliance deadlines will be published in the final rule and based on the record.
3:02 Comment From Wayne Creasap: "Modernizing OSHA’s Reporting System (RIN: 1218-AC49). OSHA is in the process of making changes to its reporting system for occupational injuries and illnesses so that it can collect data in a more timely and efficient manner." This seems rather vague. Could you specify exactly what these changes would be? Thank you.
3:02 OSHA: Wayne, thank you for your question. This is OSHA’s rulemaking to electronically collect occupational injury and illness data that is already compiled and maintained by employers. This effort will not add to or change any employer’s obligation to complete and retain the injury and illness records or change the recording criteria or definitions for these records. This will only modify employers’ obligations to transmit information from their records to OSHA. This rulemaking is currently in draft form and it will be published as a notice of proposed rulemaking. At that point, the public will have an opportunity to submit comments.
3:03 Comment From Stephen Lee, BNA: The regulatory agenda has an 8-month delay for the initiation of a SBREFA panel for the combustible dust rulemaking. What roadblocks has OSHA encountered in developing a draft proposal to accound for that delay? Also, given recent accidents, such as the flash fire at the Hoeganaes plan in Tennessee, does OSHA intend to include metal dusts within the draft proposal's scope?
3:03 OSHA: Combustible dust is a very complex issue given the wide breadth of potential dusts and process that might be covered by an OSHA standard and the potential impact on small facilities. OSHA delayed the initiation of a SBREFA panel in order to hold an expert forum so that the Agency could be better prepared for that review. OSHA has not yet made any determinations about the scope of the proposed rule.
3:03 Comment From N O: Is there going to be a section on erection of cell towers (communication towers) as they are exempt from steel erections. Will things like Comm Train be included
3:03 OSHA: At this time, we are not working on a rule for cell tower construction.
3:05 Comment From Guest: Okay...so secondary container label requirements are not set to change under GHS. Then what is the minimum requirement under the current HCS. For instance, if a company labeled secondary containers with numbers...but everyone in the company was trained to understand that the number on the container corresponded to a certain chemical and knew where to find the MSDS based upon that information...would that work. Or do you have to have at least the product identifier on the label?
3:05 Comment From Guest: So, at least in terms of the GHS/hazcom proposed rule, it would have been at the employer's discretion to use GHS labels for in-house labeling?
3:05 Comment From Guest: A follow-up question to your response that "OSHA did not propose any changes in the requirements for workplace labeling (re: 1910.1200 and GHS alignment)." Does that mean that the updated standard will not require any specific change to align with GHS for workplace labeling? Thank you.
3:05 OSHA: Thanks for your question. Regarding the use of secondary or workplace labeling, OSHA did not propose any changes to what is currently required under the Hazard Communication Standard. OSHA will provide clarification on this issue in the final rule.
3:05 Comment From Don M: In what ways is the proposed I2P2 standard different than the Safety and Health Program?
3:05 OSHA: Don, if you are referring to the 1989 Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program will represent an improved, more systematic approach to managing workplace health and safety.
3:06 Comment From Matthew Shaw: Is there a target date for the publication of the revision to the Underground Construction and Demolition Standards? Will any necessary revisions to 1926 Subpart CC be published at the same time? Thank you.
3:06 OSHA: Depending on the significance of the comments received it may be possible to publish the Direct Final Rule as early as the end of the year. However, it may be necessary for the record to remain open longer to address any significant comments. A Federal Register Notice is being drafted to make technical corrections in the Final Rule. However, no timetable has been set for it at this time.
3:08 Comment From Guest: Is there any indication on how closely the draft I2P2 standard will mirror the California IIPP?
3:08 OSHA: Guest, at least 15 states have rules containing safety and health program requirements; other states offer incentives under their workers compensation programs for companies that have effective safety and health programs. We will be looking at all of them for effective approaches.
3:08 Comment From Kyle Morrison, S+H: The diacetyl peer review ends this month, according to the agenda. Is that still on track, and what is the next step? When might we see an NPRM released?
3:08 OSHA: OSHA and NIOSH are collaborating on the development of the risk assessment of diacetyl. NIOSH is having the risk assessment peer reviewed as part of the development of their criteria document on diacetyl. They hope to complete this review as soon as possible. OSHA will be relying on comments from this peer review in the development of our proposed rule. Therefore, it is difficult to project a date for publication of an NPRM.
3:09 Comment From IM: Can we begin to author and distribute SDSs in the GHS format prior to the adoption of the final rule?
3:09 OSHA: IM, thank you for your question. Yes, OSHA does not currently require a set format for the SDS. The GHS format is a commonly used format already.
3:09 Comment From Guest: Is there any discussion concerning the maintaining of MSDS (SDS's) in the HAZCOM proposed rule? Currently if electronic means are used to maintain MSDS's a backup system is required.
3:09 OSHA: Thank you for your question. OSHA did not propose any changes in how a workplace must maintain its SDS’ and the final determination on this issue will be addressed in the final rule.
3:09 Comment From Dorothy W.: OSHA has all kinds of things in the works. Assuming they actually make it into law, how does OSHA plan to ensure that employers know what they're supposed to do, workers know their rights and what's supposed to happen and when, and OSHA inspectors know what they're supposed to do? What kind of integrated approaches will be used (e.g., so that preventing silica exposure is in injury and illness prevention plans)?
3:09 OSHA: Thank you for your question, Dorothy. Prior to launching any new standard or enforcement initiative, OSHA conducts training and education for its inspectors. The Agency also provides outreach to the regulated community before the effective date of the standard.
3:10 Comment From David LaHoda: I know there are stakeholders meetings at the end of this month on a possible infectious disease standard. What happens after that, and when?
3:10 Comment From Joan Flynn, Thompson: Will OSHA's after action report on the H1N1 pandemic be made public? And is the report relevant to the discussion of possible action on infectious disease in health care settings? GAO has recommended that federal agencies share lessons learned from the pandemic with stakeholders.
3:10 OSHA: Thank you David and Joan for your questions. OSHA is currently analyzing the comments that the agency received in response to its request for information (RFI) and is reviewing relevant scientific literature. OSHA is looking forward to having a robust discussion with our stakeholders regarding a variety of regulatory options and having a candid discussion about how best to proceed with this issue. In considering options on infectious diseases, OSHA will factor in the lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic.
3:11 Comment From Darlene: Are there any plans in the near future to perform a look back on Sub-Part R - Steel Erection?
3:11 OSHA: At this point, the only look back on the Reg Agenda is bloodborne pathogens.
3:11 Comment From LK: Is there still any talk of templates and tools to help with I2P2 Compliance?
3:11 OSHA: LK, OSHA intends to develop compliance assistance materials, such as model programs, hazard identification tools, and program evaluation tools to help employers and employees implement this important rule.
3:12 Comment From Guest: There have been studies showing that the list of chemical ingredients on MSDSs is often not accurate. Additionally, small business owners often have a hard time obtaining them. Has there been any thought to conduct random auditing of MSDS's to ensure accuracy? And what about penalties for not providing MSDSs?kind of enforcement madom not accurate MSDS's
3:12 OSHA: Thanks for the suggestions. OSHA currently conducts enforcement with regard to material safety data sheets. The agency does not have any plans at this time to conduct audits. However, OSHA believes that the accuracy of the information on SDS will improve as a result of the final rule.
3:12 Comment From Mike: When will electric power final rule be published.
3:12 OSHA: Mike, OSHA anticipates publishing this very important rule in September 2011.
3:14 Comment From Chris: What is the status of the hearing conservation proposed standard for construction?
3:14 OSHA: While OSHA agrees that this is an important issue, the Agency does not have the resources to pursue rulemakings for all workplace health and safety hazards. The Agency has made the strategic decision to focus resources on key standards that are currently on the regulatory agenda, such as Injury & Illness Prevention Programs and GHS. Of course, OSHA will re-evaluate whether to add new items when developing the next regulatory agenda.
3:15 Comment From Ken Ward Jr.: Does this regulatory agenda leave OSHA without any long-term goals for issues like combustible dust -- by not actually published a goal for when you would issue a rule?
3:15 OSHA: We do not have a date for a final issuance. However, after adding this item last year to the regulatory agenda, OSHA has moved quickly and published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on October 21, 2009. OSHA has also conducted research, gone on site visits and held stakeholder meetings across the country. We continue to collect information from our National Emphasis Program. We recently held an expert forum and we anticipate initiating SBREFA for this rulemaking in December 2011. This is a semi-annual regulatory agenda which is intended to inform people of our upcoming actions.
3:15 Comment From Nick: I have heard there will be significate changes in the confined space rules, will this affect both permit and non-permit spaces?
3:15 OSHA: We cannot comment on the substance of the final rule now that the rulemaking record is closed.
3:16 Comment From Don M: Is there a document that compares the 1989 SHMP witht the I2P2 standard?
3:16 OSHA: Don, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program rule making is still in draft form, and we will consider developing such a document to accompany the proposal.
3:18 Comment From Guest: You stated, "However, OSHA believes that the accuracy of the information on SDS will improve as a result of the final rule" Why do you believe this - what will make it improve?
3:18 OSHA: Thanks for your question. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) provides harmonized criteria for classifying substances and mixtures, according to their health and physical hazards, and specifies hazard communication elements, including requirements for safety data sheets. Through this system, OSHA believes that the information will be more consistent and easier to access.
3:18 Comment From Michele Marill: How is the work on a possible infectious diseases rule affected by OSHA's past history with a proposed tuberculosis rule?
3:18 OSHA: Michele, thank you for your question. OSHA has a long standing interest in protecting workers from infectious diseases, most notably tuberculosis, bloodborne pathogens, influenza and hantavirus. The agency noted the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Canada and Asia in 2003 as well as the significant lessons learned in preparing for a potential H5N1 pandemic as well the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. As a result, OSHA is concerned about protecting workers from these and other such infectious diseases. While the agency learned a great deal from the previously proposed tuberculosis rule, the agency is considering the current infectious disease activity in the larger context of standard and transmission-based precautions rather than on a disease by disease basis.
3:22 Comment From Guest: If the timetable for the GHS final rule is September 2011, why is the final rule not included on the OMB under review documents now?
3:22 OSHA: Thanks for your question. The GHS final rule has not been submitted to OMB yet.
3:22 Comment From Don M: Will the walking working surfaces standard address the differences with the Life Safety Code for standard railings?
3:22 OSHA: Thank you, Don. The rulemaking record for the walking working surfaces standard closed in April 2011. We are analyzing all the comments submitted on the proposed standard including any that address railings. OSHA will address these comments in the final rule.
3:23 Comment From Guest: Will the I2P2 involve any changes to the current review methodology and associated application of penalties for identified violations?
3:23 OSHA: Thank you, Guest. No, a citation for violating an existing OSHA standard or for violating the General Duty Clause does not mean that an employer will also be cited for violating the Injury and Illness Prevention Program standard.
3:23 Comment From Guest: OSHA: We cannot comment on the substance of the final rule now that the rulemaking record is closed. WHY??
3:23 OSHA: The agency is still deliberating and no final decisions have been made.
3:25 Comment From Guest: Will the diacetyl std scope be limited to only flavor manufacturers and microwave popcorn where illness has occurred or expanded to the food industry where no illness has occurred?
3:25 OSHA: OSHA has not made any determinations at this time about the scope of its proposed rule for diacetyl.
3:26 Comment From Guest: OSHA - thanks for doing this!
3:26 Comment From PM: When will the hazcom final rule go to OMB?
3:26 OSHA: PM, thanks for your question. The Haz Com final rule is entering final Departmental review and will be sent to OMB once this review is complete.
3:28 Comment From Guest: Re the bloodborne pathogen standard: Other than health care and related fields, does OSHA consider the BBP reg to be applicable to any other industries or job sectors?ers aiare there any other industries that OSHA
3:28 OSHA: Yes, the bloodborne pathogens standard may apply to other workplaces where there exists occupational exposure or potential exposure to blood and body fluids – not just health care or related fields.
3:29 OSHA: This concludes the Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Web Chat. Thank you very much for your thoughtful questions and participation. OSHA’s stakeholders provide the Agency with invaluable information and first hand experience, which strengthens and improves our standards development. We urge you to actively participate in our rulemaking process through submitting comments to proposed standards and participating in stakeholder meetings and hearings. Thank you for your support and your commitment to keeping American workers safe.
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