Federal Silica Rules Postponed, Not Repealed

Because the construction standard for crystalline silica has a number of unique features warranting development of additional guidance materials, OSHA will delay enforcement of the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction until September 23, 2017, to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. These rules have only been postponed, not repealed.

As a state plan state, Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is required by law to adopt these requirements by reference. MIOSHA will also begin enforcing these requirements on September 23, 2017. More information on MIOSHA construction standards may be found at http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-11407_15368-39938--,00.html.

Electronic Reporting of Injuries in Limbo

Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented its rule regarding the electronic submission of workplace injury and illness records that many employers are required to keep. The original mandate would have given builders, contractors and other companies until July 1 to electronically submit their lists of 2016 workplace injuries. However, OSHA recently proposed the July 1 deadline be suspended until further notice. OSHA’s website explains that it is “not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time,” but does not yet provide information about when it intends to revisit the subject.

In January, NAHB, along with the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association, the State Chamber of Oklahoma and three poultry associations filed a lawsuit challenging the legal authority of OSHA to issue the electronic reporting rule. In addition to the lawsuit, on May 5, NAHB and other construction industry associations asked the Department of Labor to put the implementation and enforcement of the rule on hold and to reopen the rulemaking record to reexamine the legal authority for the rule and its impact on workplace safety and health. Stay tuned.

Don’t Get Caught With Your Paperwork Down!

Is a copy of your company’s Accident Prevention Program on-site and available for review? Is the MIOSHA “Safety & Health” poster posted in an employee common area? Is the MIOSHA 300A Log posted in an employee common area? Is the MIOSHA 301 Log being used for incident reporting? Are SDS Posters posted in an employee common area?

MIOSHA is increasing its emphasis on all employers having complete and proper paperwork both in the main office and at the jobsite. Particular attention is being given to companies who have done government-financed rehabilitation or weatherization projects. Make sure your paperwork is up to date. Again, more information on MIOSHA construction requirements may be found at http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-11407_15368-39938--,00.html l