ASSE Government Affairs Update
Posted - Aug 14, 2017
- E-recordkeeping: On August 1st, OSHA launched the data submission platform employers will need to comply with OSHA’s final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Illnesses and Injuries. After revising the original deadline, most employers will need to submit injury and illness data byDecember 1st.
- Regulatory Agenda: The Trump administration released the 2017 spring regulatory agenda, notable for canceling hundreds of Obama-era regulations. ASSE Federal Representative Adele Abrams reviews the agenda items related to OSHA and MSHA.
- Beryllium: OSHA announced a proposed modification of the beryllium standard published in January. The proposal reopens comment opportunity for the shipyard and construction industries to potentially revoke the ancillary provisions in respect to those industries. The general industry standard will remain the same.
- VPP: OSHA is soliciting input on reshaping the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Comments to the docket are due September 15. OSHA convened a stakeholders meeting July 17 (ASSE was represented by COPA Vice-President James Thornton) and will be hosting an additional stakeholders meeting in New Orleans on August 28.ASSE is encouraged by this renewed emphasis on positive recognition, one of ten recommendations from ASSE’s OSHA Reform Blueprint.
- OSHA leadership: Loren Sweatt has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSHA, making her in effect the agency’s highest official. Previously she was with the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
- National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Director JohnHoward reflects on 50 years of respiratory research at NIOSH, the CDC’s 2018 Yellow Book, and other news.
- An overview of NIOSH’s Total Worker Health program, and resources to learn more.
- NIOSH and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have developedwebinars toward a Prevention through Design (PTD) Pilot Credit to help architects and designers understand how to accomplish safety and health in designing buildings.
- House Appropriations Committee approves FY 18 bills:
- In July the House Appropriations Committee approved several bills on FY18 funding. In the Interior and Environment Bill, the Chemical Safety Board was level-funded with FY17 at $11 million. Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said the bill “responsibly supports the agencies and offices we rely on to preserve our natural resources for future generations, and prioritizes our limited funding to programs that protect environmental safety, such as the Chemical Safety Board.” The President’s budget proposed eliminating the CSB, whichASSE opposed.
- In Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill, OSHA was funded at $531.470 million, a 4% decrease from FY 17 and $11.787 million below the President’s budget request. Among other items, the Susan Harwood Grants were defunded (although the FY 17 Harwood Grant applications are open through August 28).
- In the same bill, NIOSH was funded at $325.2 million, $10 million below FY 17 and well above the President’s suggestion of $200 million. ASSEFederal Representative Adele Abrams dives deeper into the numbers for OSHA, NIOSH, MSHA, OSHRC and FMSHRC.