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Update on Pending OSHA Rules

As we head into summer, we would like to share several recent updates coming out of OSHA:

  • OSHA Heat Standard Under OMB Review – On June 11, OSHA submitted its proposed rule establishing a federal heat injury and illness prevention standard for indoor and outdoor work settings to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). In April, OSHA presented a recommendation to include the construction industry under the forthcoming standard.
  • OSHA Issues Final Hazard Communication Standard Update – On May 20, OSHA published its long-awaited final rule updating its hazard communication standard (HCS). Specifically, the rulemaking conforms the HCS to the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (Rev. 7) and addresses issues that arose during the implementation of the 2012 update, among other changes. While the final rule will go into effect on July 19, 2024, the deadline to revise certain affected Safety Data Sheets will occur over the course of the next few years.
  • OSHA Extends Comment Deadline for Proposed Emergency Response Standard – The agency has granted a second extension to the comment period for its emergency response standard proposed rulemaking. The new deadline is July 22, 2024. If implemented, the proposed rule would replace OSHA's existing Fire Brigades standard (29 CFR 1910.156), which covers only a subset of present-day emergency responders (firefighters). Per OSHA, the focus of the proposed rule is to provide basic workplace protections for workers who respond to emergencies as part of their regularly assigned duties. Notably, the scope of protected workers under the proposed rule would be expanded to include workers who provide emergency medical service and technical search and rescue.