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Up next week: OSHA public meeting on injury and illness prevention plans (5/28)

May 28, 2010
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OSHA will use comments from a series of stakeholder meetings to help develop a proposed rule for Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, known as I2P2.

One of three meetings will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 3 at the Hilton East Brunswick, 3 Tower Center Blvd.

The rule will require employers to develop and implement a program that minimizes worker exposure to safety and health hazards. Instead of passively waiting for and then reacting to an OSHA inspection or a workplace incident to address workplace hazards, employers would be required to create a plan for identifying and correcting hazards, and then implement the plan. Workers also would participate in the development and implementation of such plans.

Other public meetings will be held June 10 in Dallas, Texas, and June 29 in Washington, D.C.

“We are asking employers to 'find and fix' the hazards in their workplaces," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels in a prepared statement.

OSHA watchers in DC are waiting to see how many resources Dr. Michaels throws at this potential sweeping standard to put in on a fast track to final rulemaking. It is considered his number one standards-setting priority.

Key issue: Will the injury and illness prevention plan requirements be bare-bones minimalist, like Cal/OSHA short and sweet injury and illness prevention program, which gives Golden State employers leeway in how to comply? Or will more detailed “how to” specifications be built into the rules?

Key issue #2: Is the objective of OSHA’s injury and illness prevention program to bring the vast majority of small and mid-sized companies up to the first rung of developing a “find and fix” program, or will OSHA set the performance bar higher, essentially setting stretch goals for even the more sophisticated programs?

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