OSHA's Fall Agenda Only Lists Significant Items

In accordance with a change mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OSHA's recently released semi-regulatory agenda published eight hazard topics in the Federal Register, compared to the 26 that appeared on an agenda released in April.

OSHA spokesperson Sharon Worthy explained OMB decided that while other hazard topics will remain on the agenda, “only the most significant items” would be published online in the Federal Register starting in the fall of 2007.

The eight workplace standards published Dec. 10 include those that have garnered the most public interest, such as occupational exposure to crystalline silica, confined spaces and cranes and derricks.

Rulemaking to regulate occupational exposure to food flavoring diacetyl appeared on the agenda for the first time. With growing evidence that diacetyl is the culprit behind bronchiolitis obliterans, a fatal lung disease, the agency began the proposed rulemaking process and initiated a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act (SBREFA) stakeholder meeting in January.

However, crystalline silica remains on the agenda in the pre-rule stage, and according to the agency, a complete peer review of its health effects and risk assessment of the proposed rule will be completed by January. OSHA's April agenda stated that the review would be completed by September 2007.

Occupational exposure to beryllium also has been on OSHA's plate for some time. The agency indicated that an SBREFA report would be completed by January.

The new agenda also stated that OSHA would submit a complete peer review of economic analysis on the Hazard Communication standard by November 2007, but this action has not been completed.

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