Today's News / Government Regulations

Latest federal regulatory agenda is full...of delays

The government’s regulatory road is long, with many a winding curve – as shown anew in the fall regulatory agenda released last week by the Obama administration. Many of the regulations included have been in the works for years due to a variety of factors: a lengthy rule-making process, industry opposition, and, in some cases, delays by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The federal government is statutorily required to release its rule-making plans for the upcoming 12 months every spring and fall.

Among the agenda items:

The Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) OSHA has been promoting for several years now has a notice-of-proposed-rulemaking date: September of 2014. The rule would require employers to implement a program that involves planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving processes and activities that protect employee safety and health. I2P2 would build on the voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (54 FR 3904 to 3916) which were published in 1989.

The agency's standard-in-progress to limit workers’ exposure to combustible dust, which has been in the works since 2009, will now be the subject of an April panel that will explore the rule’s potential impact on small businesses.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bid to claim the authority to regulate cigars and e-cigarettes the same way it oversees conventional cigarettes has been pushed to December. The proposal was originally going to be issued in April.

An FDA rule that will require chain restaurants and vending machines to post the number of calories in their foods – one mandated by the Affordable Care Act – was moved from September to February.

In the pre-rule stage for OSHA:

Bloodborne Pathogens


Infectious Diseases


Reinforced Concrete in Construction and
Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities


Standards Improvement Project IV


Review/Lookback of OSHA Chemical Standards


Process Safety Management and
Prevention of Major Chemical Accidents


Definition and Requirements for a Nationally
Recognized Testing Laboratory


Subpart E Scaffolds, Ladders and Other Working Surfaces


In the proposed rule stage for OSHA:

Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica


Occupational Exposure to Beryllium


Combustible Dust


Injury and Illness Prevention Program


Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses


Approved State Plans for Occupational Safety and Health


Amendments to the Cranes and Derricks in
Construction Standard


Clarification of Employer's Continuing
Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record
of Each Recordable Injury and Illness


In the final rule stage for OSHA:

Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Certification


Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus
Standards Eye and Face Protection


Confined Spaces in Construction


Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical
Protective Equipment


Walking Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection
Systems (Slips, Trips, and Fall Prevention)


Procedures for Handling Employee Retaliation Complaints
Under the National Transit Systems Security Act; Surface
Transportation Assistance Act; and Federal Railroad Safety Act


Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting
Requirements--NAICS Update and Reporting Revisions


In the pre-rule stage for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA):

Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines


Regulatory Actions in Response to Recommendations
Resulting From Investigation of the Upper Big Branch Explosion


In the proposed-rule stage for MSHA:

Respirable Crystalline Silica


Criteria and Procedures for Proposed Assessment of Civil Penalties


Proximity Detection Systems for Mobile Machines in Underground Mines


Fees for Testing, Evaluation and Approval of Mining Products


Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines;
Limited Reopening of the Record


In the final-rule stage for MSHA:

Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust,
Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors


Proximity Detection Systems for Continuous Mining Machines
in Underground Coal Mines


In the final rule stage for the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers’ Compensation Program:

Black Lung Benefits Act: Standards for Chest Radiographs


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