On December 21, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled an unofficial version of its proposed Emergency Response Rule. The Emergency Response Rule, if finalized, would replace an existing rule applicable to firefighters with a much broader rule that also covers emergency medical personnel and search-and-rescue workers. The Rule aims to resolve what the agency has described as a “patchwork” of unrelated standards for emergency workers and will address a variety of workplace hazards, including exposure to toxic chemicals, equipment failures, infectious diseases, and the mental health impact of first-responder positions.Continue Reading OSHA to Replace Existing Fire Brigades Standard with Broad Emergency Response Rule

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking on August 29, 2023, concerning who employees can authorize to act as their representative during Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) workplace inspections. Continue Reading OSHA Announces Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Authorized Employee Representation During Inspections

On January 4, 2023, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the 2022 Unified Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Plan (Fall 2022 Agenda) that reports on all planned rulemaking actions of administrative agencies. According to the Fall 2022 Agenda, the Department of Labor (DOL), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are pursuing a long list of thirty regulatory actions, similar to the Spring 2022 agenda, including the addition of a rule regarding Procedures for Use of Administrative Subpoenas in OSHA investigations.Continue Reading OMB Releases Regulatory Agenda for Fall 2022 for OSHA/MSHA/DOL

On May 3, 2022, OSHA held a stakeholder meeting regarding the development of a nationwide occupational heat standard to prevent heat injuries and illness. The meeting featured opening remarks by Assistant Secretary of Labor, Doug Parker, Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, Jim Frederick.
Continue Reading OSHA Hosts Stakeholder Meeting on Heat-Related Hazards

On October 27, 2021, OSHA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Heat Injury & Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. 86 Fed. Reg. 59309 (Oct. 27, 2021). As announced in the ANPRM, OSHA is seeking information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat-related injury and illness. Comments on the Proposed Rule must be submitted by December 27, 2021.

Because outdoor and indoor work settings that lack adequate climate-controlled environments pose a risk of hazardous heat exposure for workers, the proposed rule applies to both indoor and outdoor work environments.
Continue Reading OSHA issues ANPRM on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention

While federal OSHA has not implemented new regulations for COVID-19, the push by some individual states to do so continues. Most recently, California passed a law that sets up new COVID-19 requirements for employers in the state, especially around providing notices and reports of workplaces exposures.
Continue Reading California to expand Cal/OSHA authority on COVID-19 starting January 2021