New OSHA Rules May Get Trumped
Now that Donald Trump is our president, there are several recently issued and controversial OSHA regulations that may likely be reversed if he follows through with his campaign pledges to remove unnecessary regulations. The first target would be OSHA’s rule on electronic record-keeping. This rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA that they’re already required to keep on-site with the OSHA Injury & Illness form and OSHA’s opposition to blanket post-accident drug testing policies and employee incentive programs, which the administration feels that these programs restrict employees from reporting injuries.
The second is the agency’s silica rule, published in March. Opponents have challenged the rule in litigation, arguing it ignores concerns about the technology and economic feasibility of lowering the maximum exposure limits set by the new regulations. The rule reduces the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for crystalline silica for both construction and general industry and requiring some employers to measure the amount of silica employees are exposure to and to install equipment to remove the dust and respirators to protect employees.
Eventually, I anticipate, and most experts agree, the Trump administration will at least push back the effective date for both rules while it works to reverse or modify them. In the case of the electronic data submission, the administration could simply reinterpret the post-accident drug testing and employee incentive programs as generally permissible, which could go into effect upon release, while they work to reverse the electronic data submission rule. The silica will most likely not get completely reversed, however, the administration will probably focus on increasing the PEL to something more acceptable to employers. Until that happens, all affected employers will be required to adhere to the new rules. In either case, it should be an interesting second half of the year with Trump’s administration.
For the latest updates, be sure to check our compliance support page.
- OSHA White Paper: Final Rule on Electronic Reporting
- OSHA 300 Forms: 10 Common Mistakes
- OSHA Issues Final Rule on Silica Exposure
- Top 5 Tips for Interacting with an OSHA Inspector
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