New Congress and Slow Economy Means OSHA Has Up Hill Battle

[tweetmeme]Now that a new Congress has started, expect to see a lot of the issues we talked about in 2010 to be non-starters in 2011.  There is actually legislation being introduced to place a moratorium on new regulatory rule making, so the pace will definitely slow as far as new safety initiatives.   Coupled with the sluggish economy and the appearence that new Government activity equals slowing of the economic recovery; it doesn’t bode well for OSHA’s aggressive agenda. 

However OSHA is pushing forward with a number of issues they feel they can still accomplish.  Dr. David Michaels, Asst. Director of Labor in charge of OSHA has a list of priorities that include the following: 

  • I2P2 – the number one priority of Dr. Michaels. The agency hopes to have the Small Business Regulatory Review in June. However, no proposal has yet been drafted so don’t be surprised if the issue is delayed most of the year.
  • GHS – the agency hopes to finalize this proposal in 2011. How will the TLVs be addressed? No one seems to know or at least is not telling anyone.
  • Confined Spaces in Construction – Whistleblower Protections – Standards Improvement. The agency hopes to finalize all of these in 2011. One of the three would be great, two would be amazing.
  • MSD Column on OSHA 300 Log – The agency is now shooting for early 2012.
  • Combustible Dust. No final date has been given, but the agency hopes to conduct the small business review in April.

I am not holding my breath that any of these issues will be going anywhere anytime soon.  Congress has bigger fish to fry with the economy and the National debt, the last thing they want is to have OSHA or any other agency being percieved as holding back small business growth with more regulatory burden.

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