What’s on tap for OSHA standards-setting?
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – under review. OMB is required under Executive Order to review and return any proposed rule to the agency submitting the proposal within 90 days of receipt. They are allowed to extend this by up to 30 days. The beryllium proposal has now been at OMB for more than eight months. What makes this even more frustrating, says Trippler, is the fact that a major industry player in the beryllium industry and a labor union agreed long ago on an acceptable exposure limit.
OMB is now getting a little pressure to complete the review, return the proposal to OSHA, and allow the agency to publish the proposal for public input. A group of Democratic lawmakers on the Hill recently sent a letter to OMB requesting this proposal be sent back to OSHA. As a follow-up, AIHA also sent a letter to OMB supporting efforts to return the proposal to OSHA. Bottom line – it’s time OSHA be allowed to publish its proposal and provide the public with the opportunity to comment.
Silica: No word on when, or if, OSHA might move on the silica rule, according to Trippler. Time is of the essence on this one as Congress would likely get involved and attempt to stop the rule. That would leave little time for the President to override Congress via veto. There are still many who think this final rule is forthcoming, says Trippler.
Infectious Diseases Rule: Hope is fading that OSHA might be able to conclude this rule in the remaining time of the Obama Administration. So many things on the OSHA plate that this one just might fall off, according to Trippler.