May 16, 2019

Final Rule to Revise Existing Provisions in OSHA Standards

On Monday, OSHA issued a final rule to make 14 revisions to existing provisions in its recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards. These revisions are part of OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project, which is intended to remove or revise outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent requirements in OSHA standards. According to the Federal Register notice, the agency is revising two standards to align with current medical practice: a reduction to the number of necessary employee X-rays and updates to requirements for pulmonary function testing. The agency’s revisions also include updates for storage of digital x-rays. Other revisions include updating the consensus standard incorporated by reference for signs and devices used to protect workers near automobile traffic; revising the requirements for roll-over protective structures to comply with current consensus standards; and updating the method of calling emergency services to allow for use of current technology.

OSHA will also remove from its standards the requirements that employers include an employee's social security number on exposure monitoring, medical surveillance, and other records. The agency states that these changes are intended to protect employee privacy and prevent identity fraud.

The changes will go into effect on July 15, 2019. For more information, see the Federal Register notice or OSHA’s press release.