The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that revises 14 provisions in the recordkeeping, general industry, maritime and construction standards that the agency says may be “confusing, outdated or unnecessary.”
The revisions are expected to increase understanding and compliance with the provisions, improve employee safety and health and save employers an estimated $6.1 million per year.
The revisions include: an update to the consensus standard incorporated by reference for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic; a revision to the requirements for roll-over protective structures to comply with current consensus standards; updates for storage of digital X-rays; and the method of calling emergency services to allow for use of current technology.
To protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud, OSHA is also removing from the standards the requirements that employers include an employee’s social security number (SSN) on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance and other records.
The agency estimates that its revision of updating the method of identifying and calling emergency medical services may increase construction employers’ combined costs by about $32,000 per year, while two provisions—reduction in the number of necessary employee X-rays and elimination of posting requirements for residential construction employers—provide estimated combined cost savings of $6.1 million annually.
OSHA says it is not moving forward with proposed revisions to the lockout/tagout general industry standard, personal protective equipment fit in construction, the excavation construction standard, or the decompression tables in the underground construction standard.
OSHA proposed the changes in October 2016. This is the fourth final rule under OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project, which began in 1995 in response to a presidential memorandum to improve government regulations. Other revisions were issued in 1998, 2005 and 2011.
The full final rule is available online.