OSHA Spring 2008 Agenda Published in Federal Register

OSHA's most recently published semiannual regulatory agenda listed 7 hazard topics on the Federal Register, many of which have garnered much public interest in recent years.

In December 2007, OSHA spokesperson Sharon Worthy told OccupationalHazards.com that the Federal Register will post “only the most significant items” online.

Methylene chloride and occupational exposure to crystalline silica, beryllium and diacetyl continue to be in pre-rule stage, according to the agenda.

In the Fall 2007 agenda, OSHA said it would complete a complete peer review of crystalline silica’s health effects and risk assessment by January 2008. The current agenda indicates that this review has been pushed back to August 2008.

OSHA did make progress with the beryllium rule by completing a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act (SBREFA) report in January 2008. A complete peer review of health effects and risk assessment for this hazard is slated for November 2008.

Methylene Chloride, under a section 610 review considering the continued need for the rule or if it overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other federal or state regulations, will be given an end review in November 2008.

Occupational exposure to diacetyl, as well as food flavorings that contain the agent, appeared on the agenda for the first time in Fall 2007. The agency held a stakeholder meeting in October 2007 and will initiate a SBREFA panel in May 2008 regarding this hazard.

Confined space in construction currently is in the proposed rule stage, and OSHA noted there will be September 2008 public hearing on the final rule. This standard was initiated after the United Steel Workers of America petitioned OSHA for a rule to extend confined-space protection to construction workers because the 1993 standard did not apply to this specific industry.

Cranes and derricks also are in the agenda’s proposed rule stage, with a notice of proposed rulemaking planned for August 2008.

Finally, OSHA noted that after a March 2006 public hearing for the Electric Power Transmission and Distribution - Electrical Protective Equipment rule, it is reopening the record in June to gather additional information on minimum approach distances.

For information on other items on the agenda not listed on the Federal Register, go to http://www.reginfo.gov or www.regulations.gov.

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