OSHA Regulations Revised

Keeping your plant up to date with technology, safety trends, safety products and OSHA regulations is important.  OSHA has been around since the Nixon administration and also needs to be kept up to date.  In an article entitled “Mr. President: Help Worker Safety by Updating Obsolete OSHA Regulations,”  Jim Stanley discusses how the last 4 years of increased OSHA enforcement has been a burden on companies and has not produced the desired results.  He suggests that if we want to continue to see injury rates decrease, OSHA regulations that have not been revised since they were put into effect in 1970, need to be revised and updated.

Adopting portions of OSHA regulations that have been updated and ignoring those that haven’t may be confusing to employers and employees.  Fall protection is a good example of an area of OSHA where confusion may lie and revision is needed.  In 2010, 14 percent of all workplace fatalities were due to falls.  These include falls from ladders, roofs and the same level.  Falls also include down stairs, from non-moving vehicles, from ground level and from structural steel.  Stanley states that the fall protection general industry standards have not been updated for decades and they fail to mention safety harnesses or lanyards (which are both commonly used today).  They also fail to mention working on elevated surfaces that are not floors, runways or platforms.  Specifically the article focuses on falls from non-moving vehicles.  The author says that OSHA does not include a vehicle on which an employee must be located, as a walking/working surface in its fall protection standards, yet 12% of fatal falls in 2010 were from a non-moving vehicle.  This is one standard that needs to be revised and brought up to date.

Stanley suggests that a good starting point for revision would be if OSHA used ANSI standards as a starting point as well as looking at other nation’s models.  He says that OSHA could develop a framework in which voluntary organizations like ANSI (where ASSE, NFPA, ASTM, and UL are all voluntary standards) could adapt the more technical details.  These voluntary standards are updated every 5 years and are developed by safety and health professionals, labor, government, industry and stakeholders.

Keeping your plant in line with OSHA regulations is important.  SLIPNOT can help.  Stock sized or custom fabricated metal flooring exceeds OSHA standards for non slip floorings.  Keeping OSHA up to date with current technology, machinery and equipment is a big step towards making sure all workplaces are safer.

Stanley, Jim. “Mr. President: Help Worker Safety by Updating Obsolete OSHA Regulations.” www.ehstoday.com. January 9, 2013.  January 10, 2013. http://ehstoday.com/osha/mr-president-help-worker-safety-updating-obsolete-osha-regulations?page=1>

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