14. Jul 2017

OSHA Proposes Two Extensions

Electronic Recordkeeping

In May 2016, OSHA issued its final rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness. Employers has a compliance deadline phased in for the electronic submission of recordkeeping forms. In 2017, employers with 250 or more employees and businesses with fewer than 250 employees but 20 or more in some high-risk industries were mandated to submit 2016 Form 300A electronically by July 1, 2017. In May, OSHA announced that it would delay the compliance date; however, OSHA did not offer a new compliance date.

In June, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to delay the new requirements until December 1, 2017. In the NPRM, OSHA stated, “this delay will…allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, which will not be available until August 1.”

According to the NPRM, OSHA will make the website for the submission of recordkeeping forms available on August 1, 2017.

OSHA is currently accepting comments on the proposed delay through July 13, 2017. OSHA also intends to reconsider, remove, or revise certain provisions of the final rule, and the agency has stated that it will issue a separate NPRM in the near future.

Crane Operator Certification

The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration met on June 20, 2017, to hear about and offer recommendations on OSHA’s proposed rule that would extend the enforcement deadline for crane operator certification requirements. This is part of the revised Crane Standard, 29 C.F.R. 1926 Subpart CC, issued in 2010.

The ACCSH advises on construction industry related issues. This meeting happened after construction industry official indicated to OSHA that the original deadline, already extended, of November 10, 2017, did not allow adequate time for compliance with some portions of the rule. The ACCSH hosted a public teleconference recently to review OSHA’s proposed extension for compliance to November 10, 2018.

Currently, the rules require crane operators to be certified for the type of crane they operate and the lifting capacity of that crane. The rule states, “An operator will be deemed qualified to operate a particular piece of equipment if the operator is certified.” Uncertainty exists regarding how to achieve these requirements.

OSHA previously stated its intention to disseminate clarification of the rule; however, OSHA has not released its clarifications to date. OSHA met with industry stakeholders in 2015, and the agency is still developing proposed changes to the preamble language and crane operator requirements in the proposed rule. Extending the compliance deadline to 2018 would give OSHA time to published those clarifications.

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