At a recent National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) meeting, OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress admitted that the Employer-Pay-for-PPE regulation is not likely to happen this year, because all safety standards personnel have been working on the ergonomics rule.
OSHA is still working to get the ergonomics rule published by year''s end.
The agency is reworking parts of the draft based on comments to the record.
OSHA reveived about 9,000 comments on the ergonomics proposal, according to Jeffress.
He noted that many of the comments were "thoughtful suggestions to improve the rule and will result in significant changes in the final rule."
While Jeffress declined to detail what changes will appear in the final rule, he did say that comments covered various issues, including the trigger, which kicks off an employer''s participation.
Jeffress told NACOSH that the agency is also working on standards on recordkeeping and steel erection, which he predicted could be finished by the end of the year.
However, that is not likely, since none of the rules have been forwarded to the Office of Managment and Budget (OMB) for review, which must be completed before the standards can be published. OMB typically has 90 days for its review.
Jeffress also said that inspections are set to begin for department stores, nursing homes and hospitals.
Any of these establishments that have above average injury and illness rates will receive "wall to wall" inspections.
Jeffress promised these three industries would not escape OSHA''s attention, and he told the safety and health community that OSHA continues to promise to make good on its commitments.
by Virginia Sutcliffe