Based on questions we’ve fielded from clients, it seems many are understandably unsure what OSHA’s current position is on safety incentive programs. Here’s a quick rehash to clear it all up.
Many of the MSHA regulations that are currently in effect were written in the 1970s; at that time in history, digital meant using your fingers (digits). Since then, technology has become so advanced that the regulations do not even address the latest hazards involved in mining.
Next week – on February 12 and 13 – Husch Blackwell attorneys Erik Dullea, Phil Bower, Avi Meyerstein, Hal Perloff and Brian Waagner will be presenting at the 2019 NSSGA AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo in Indianapolis on a number of topics. Please join us if you are at the event.
Last week, the years-long saga of OSHA’s 2016 injury and illness record-keeping rule took another turn, leaving many employers confused about what injury records they must submit to OSHA. In this quick-and-easy FAQ, we clear up the confusion with answers to the top 10 questions about OSHA’s new injury and illness records rule.
When MSHA asked in a request for information (“RFI”) for data, experiences, and ideas on how to reduce “powered haulage” accidents, the implication of many of the RFI questions was that MSHA is looking to push mines to adopt new 21st-century technologies, such as object detection and collision avoidance systems. In response, Husch Blackwell’s Mining Coalition submitted detailed comments last month that outlined programs, strategies, and technologies that operators have found to be successful – and those that haven’t yet worked.
OSHA may be considering a major change to its lockout/tagout (“LOTO”) rule, which dictates how companies across industries design and service equipment. By deleting a single word, OSHA may force significant changes and increase enforcement and company liability.
On October 17, 2018, OIRA published the fall regulatory agenda for MSHA. The major regulatory priority on MSHA’s agenda continues to be an examination of the protections provided to reduce underground miners’ exposure to diesel exhaust and refuge alternatives for underground coal mines. The MSHA/NIOSH Diesel Health Effects Partnership convened its third meeting in July 2018 and attracted 50 stakeholders from across the industry spectrum to chart an effective path for change.
In October, OSHA published its regulatory agenda, listing all regulatory actions under consideration. Consistent with the current administration’s stated focus on regulatory reform, OSHA calls many of the rulemaking actions “deregulatory” and says that many are either completed or have moved into the final rule stages.
Summer may now be over, but the debate over how OSHA should regulate worker exposure to heat – indoors and out – may be getting hotter. Over the summer, both the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and a coalition of private advocacy groups and individuals supported OSHA developing a heat stress standard. While OSHA has offered guidance on protecting workers from overheating and cited companies under the catch-all General Duty Clause, it does not currently have particular heat exposure limits or mandates.
On Tuesday, the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced a series of stakeholder meetings in August and September to discuss its pending request for information on “powered haulage” equipment. Given concerns that the RFI could lead to further rulemaking, many in industry are sure to take interest.