New year, new rule. As we ring out the old in 2016, we ring in the first major general industry OSHA update since the 1970s for walking-working surfaces (subpart D) and fall protection systems standards (subpart I) when a new ruling takes effect on January 17.1
Approximately 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Over the past 20 years, government agencies have consistently identified noise-induced hearing loss as one of the top concerns of workers.
An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. The general industry standard protects the health of employees from harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, and vapors.
Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA estimates that 202,066 serious (lost-workday) injuries and 345 fatalities occur annually among workers directly affected by the final standard.
The new standard covers over 43 million workers who produce or handle hazardous chemicals in more than five million workplaces across the country. The modification is expected to prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually.
The standard applies to all general industry places of employment. Among them are Agricultural services, Manufacturing, Transportation and Utilities, Wholesale Trade, Food Stores, Hotels and Other Lodging, Health Services, Museums, Botanical Gardens and Zoos to name a few.