2020 OSHA Updates That You Should Be Aware Of
Successful companies realize that the New Year is not just time to reevaluate sales or production operations, but also time for a safety reevaluation, which should include keeping current with the most recent updates from the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA).
In addition to setting expectations for compliance, OSHA guidelines provide businesses with a structure for their safety programs. Below is a short list of OSHA regulatory developments you should expect for 2020.
International Hazard Communication
OSHA recently adopted the United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS) into its official Hazard Communication program. The idea behind these regulations is to specify hazard classifications and standardize safety-related labeling and documentation within the context of international trade.
GHS has been described as a living document and has been revised many times since OSHA adopted it. OSHA's GHS-related guidelines were based on the third edition of the document, and the UN recently released the seventh version. Hence, OSHA is currently undertaking the realignment of its Hazard Communication protocols that relate to GHS. This realignment is expected to be a major point of emphasis in 2020.
New Beryllium Standard
Beryllium is a metal used in a wide range of consumer goods, from electronics to golf clubs. Those working in facilities that use beryllium must be protected from prolonged exposure, as it has been connected to multiple deadly diseases, including lung cancer.
Currently, OSHA has been reviewing comments on a December 2018 proposed update to its beryllium standard and proposed updates are expected for 2020. OSHA officials have said the proposed alterations would preserve current safety and health protections while aiding compliance with the standards, and keeping an eye toward cost savings.
Testing Respirator Fit
OSHA recently released an updated rule for assessing the fit of personal respirators. The update included two new protocols that employers may use for evaluation. The new protocols are related to the modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) fit testing protocols for face respirators.
Employers in general industries, shipbuilding and construction do not have to make changes to their current testing procedures. Currently in its last stage of evaluation, the rule isn't projected to add any further cost for companies currently in compliance.
New Record-Keeping Regulation
In January, OSHA rolled back a requirement for the online submission of injury records. Employers no longer have to submit data from Form 300 and 301, which pertain to work-related injuries and illnesses. However, employers must still submit form 300A, which is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses. However, employers still have to keep completed forms 300, 301 and 300A for five years. This rule only pertains to companies with at least 250 employees.
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