OSHA Issues Final Update To Standards Improvements Rule

A rule making changes in several regulations was issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as part of its ongoing Standards Improvement Project (SIP). The purpose of the update, which took effect on July 15, 2019, is to simplify employer efforts to comply with OSHA regulations and make it easier for employers to determine just how they should achieve compliance. Several updates to key compliance regulations stand out as notable:

HEARING LOSS REPORTING

This final rule mandates that, moving forward, physicians must now use OSHA’s general standards rules for determining the work-relatedness of a hearing loss injury. Previously, medical professionals were allowed to follow their own protocol determining whether hearing loss is work-related.

911 EMERGENCY SERVICES

With advances in communication technology, OSHA has identified a necessary SIP update to 911 posting requirements. Previously, a call to a 911 dispatcher from a landline would provide them with a caller’s location to then relate to emergency services. Such technology is not always available from a mobile phone, which proves problematic when the caller is in a remote location and neither they nor their wireless device can be located by a dispatcher.

OSHA’s update requires that employers located where landlines are not available must post in a conspicuous location either the worksite’s latitude and longitude, or alternatively, other location-identification information that communicates to employees the worksite’s location.

PROTECTING YOUR IDENTITY

Finally, as part of the federal government’s ongoing effort to reduce unnecessary use of Social Security numbers in agency systems and programs, OSHA also has chosen to delete SSN-inclusion requirements from 19 different standards.

The full publication containing the SIP final rule can be found here

Is your company OSHA compliant? Contact Alper’s Director of Claims Management Services to set up a consultation: Regina Ruffin, RRuffin@AlperServices.com.