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Stephanie Salmon, Artemis Strategies; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C. WASHINGTON ALERT

OSHA Publishes 2013 Regulatory Agenda T


he Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its semian-

nual regulatory agenda for 2013 just before the holidays. OSHA’s proposed rule to address

crystalline silica hazards, which has been under review since February 2011, is categorized as a proposed rule with action slated for May 2013. According to OSHA administrator David Michaels, the update could be delayed because regulators need to incorporate the new hydraulic frac- turing industry. OSHA has not yet provided spe- cific details to the public provisions to be included in its silica rulemaking. Te silica regulation likely will in- clude a new permissible exposure lim- it (PEL) that cuts the current limit in half and proposes a new action level. Ancillary requirements to accom- pany this tighter standard likely will include requirements that employers must conduct exposure monitoring for silica, provide medical surveillance for workers for silica-related illnesses, identify and limit time in work zones where silica exposures may exceed the PEL, and provide training regarding silica hazards.


OSHA Releases Details on Inspection for High Injury/Illness Rate Employers

OSHA recently released its Site-

Specific Targeting 2012 (SST-12) program designed to focus agency inspection resources on workplaces experiencing high injury and illness rates. Information on the injury and illness rates was derived from the OSHA data initiative (ODI) survey of approximately 80,000 establishments in selected high-hazard industries, in- cluding the metalcasting industry. The SST-12 became effective Jan. 4. It applies to all high-hazard indus- tries and facilities with 20 or more em- ployees. OSHA did not release a formal

list of companies that will be targeted under the program. OSHA’s Primary Inspection List con- sists of manufacturers with either a days away, restricted or transferred (DART) rate at or above 7.0 or a days away from work due to injury or illness (DAFWII) case rate at or above 5.0. If an OSHA area office completes its inspections of all establishments on its primary inspection list, it may obtain additional establish- ments from a secondary inspection list. Under the secondary list, manufacturers that report either a DART rate at or above 5.0 or a DAFWII case rate of 4.0 or greater can be inspected. In both cases, only one of these criteria must be met.

A random sample of establishments that did not respond to the 2011 ODI Survey prior to May 2012 have been added to the secondary inspection list. In addition to the SST program, OSHA carries out both national and local em- phasis inspection programs to target specific high-risk hazards and indus- tries. The agency is currently enforcing 11 National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) including primary metals, amputations, lead, crystalline silica, hexavalent chromium, recordkeeping and combustible dust.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office, 202/842- 4864,

February 2013 MODERN CASTING | 19

Several other top agency priorities appear to be on track to move forward: • Combustible Dust Standard: Te agenda moves the combustible dust standard into a pre-rule stage from its previous long-term action stage. Te agency anticipates the small business panel (SBREFA) process will begin in October.

• Overview of OSHA Chemical Standards: Another OSHA top priority has been to update many chemical-specific PELs, most of which were adopted in 1971. A previous revision effort resulted in a final standard that lowered PELs for more than 200 chemi- cals and introduced PELs for 164 previously unregulated chemicals. Te standard was successfully challenged in court based on defi- ciencies in OSHA’s analyses.

• Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting: Te rule has moved from a proposed rule to the final phase. It would revise the report- ing requirements of employers that report the occurrence of fatalities and certain injuries to OSHA. Te agency says a final action is expected by May 2013. • Occupational Exposure to Beryllium:

Tis regulatory effort appears on the current agenda in the proposed rule stage. OSHA noted it has collected information, convened a SBREFA panel and completed the SBREFA report, in addition to completing a scientific peer review of its draft risk assessment. Te agency plans to issue a proposed rule by July 2013.

• Preventing Backover Injuries and Fatalities: Te agency has been working on this item throughout the past year and has meetings planned for January. It remains in the pre-rule stage. OSHA is scheduled to review comments this month.

• Efforts to Improve Tracking of Work- place Injuries and Illnesses: Tis rule- making remains in the proposed rule phase. OSHA says an updated and modernized reporting system would enable a more efficient and timely collection of data as well as improve the accuracy and availabil- ity of relevant records and statistics. Te agency says it hopes to publish a proposal by May 2013.

See a complete overview of all of the OSHA regulatory updates at

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